The Secrets of Jaunty P. Quills (Porcupine Extraordinaire)
Jaunty P. Quills: Hello, readers! It’s me, Jaunty P. Quills. I’m back with another of my award-winning interviews. This one is with…ah…I know it’s one of these Quills. There are so many of them…<digs through notes, but finds pine nuts instead>
Robyn: I hate to interrupt your snack over there, Jaunty, but um, I’m pretty sure you were going to interview me today about my new book.
Jaunty P. Quills: Oh, right <says with mouth full> Maybe you can entertain these folks while I clean myself up and have a drink.
Robyn: Uh, sure, I can try to do that. How about I share with y’all the back cover blurb of my book, The Temptations of Anna Jacobs…
Love and justice…
When Drew Foster is released from prison, he doesn’t much care about salvaging his soiled reputation. Though he’s working undercover, everyone in Victorian London believes him guilty of the Jack the Ripper murders and that his brother paid for his “innocence.”
Despite her genteel upbringing, Anna Jacobs is intent on finishing medical school and becoming a physician. Society’s ridicule has never bothered her, but when her brother, the Yard’s best detective, is scorned for letting Drew go, she confronts the one man who can set the record straight at a ball. She certainly doesn’t count on the rogue being dashing and handsome, nor on him stealing a passionate kiss.
Anna’s brazen contempt for his dangerous reputation captivates Drew, but he is harboring secrets that make him unfit to court any proper woman. As he finds himself an outsider among his colleagues at Scotland Yard, the feisty beauty offers up her medical knowledge to assist him on the case. But when the real killer returns to London to continue his reign of terror, can Anna find safety in Drew’s arms?
Jaunty P. Quills: This is another of those killer porcupine books, isn’t it? The last one you wrote had me up for nights. *shudder* I snuck into Kristan’s house for a week and curled up under her bed. Don’t tell her I told you that though.
Robyn: Your secret is safe with me. And I’m sorry if I frightened you. Jack the Ripper can, indeed be creepy. I spooked myself out by writing some of the scenes. But at the heart of this book and the first book in the series (The Secrets of Mia Danvers) is a lovely romance. No matter what the subplot, romance is always what I focus on.
Jaunty P. Quills: Romance. I do love a good romance. I just finished Shana’s Porcupines Love Sapphires. At least I think that was the title. Tell me about your couple. Is he a tall, handsome porcupine who saves the fair hedgehog?
Robyn: Not exactly. For those of you who read the first book, you’ll remember Drew (Alex’s younger brother). Well, he was a bit of a wastrel in the first book, he’s selfish and angry and an alcoholic.
Jaunty P. Quills: Wait, a minute, I thought you said this was a romance. Or is he the killer?
Robyn: Heh…no, he’s not the killer, though he is arrested on suspicion of being him. But Drew is simply in a dark place and he needs a little light in his life, a little joy that can pull him out of the darkness and back into a place where he wants to be a better man. That’s where our heroine, Anna, comes in. She’s a sweet sort, though she certainly has plenty of spunk. She’s going to school to become a doctor, something that was not looked upon as being a viable option for women, nonetheless, she’s bucking the system and studying to be a physician and she’s very good at it too.
Jaunty P. Quills: She’s sounds nice. I’m not so sure about that Drew fellow though, perhaps I need to meet this Anna, show her how strong the love of a good porcupine–
Robyn: Yeah, let’s not go there, Jaunty. In any case, Drew and Anna begin an unlikely friendship when he seeks her assistance hunting the killer.
Jaunty P. Quills: So he puts her in danger? Where is he? I’m going to show him a thing or two.
Robyn: (grabs Jaunty – carefully, of course – and holds him back) Calm it down, big boy. Drew keeps Anna perfectly safe. Well, mostly safe….but for that you’ll just have to read the book. Here’s have some more pine nuts.
Jaunty P. Quills: mmmmmmmm
Robyn: Well, I guess he’s done asking me questions. I’ll just leave y’all with a short excerpt and then if y’all have questions, I’ll gladly answer. Thanks, Jaunty. Jaunty? Wow, he’s is really chowing down on those pine nuts. Okay then, here’s your excerpt…
She was quiet for several moments. He watched her face as she considered all the possibilities. Even now, the taste of her lips stayed with him, and he wanted more. More of her kisses, more of her smiles. Simply more of Anna.
Perhaps she had other thoughts that could explain the differences in the injuries, or the use of an alternate weapon.
“Why did you kiss me? The other day?” she asked.
Drew felt his brows rise in surprise. “Is that what you were thinking about? I suspected your thoughts were more academic in nature.”
She shrugged. “Academic or not, I am still a woman.”
“It seemed the thing to do,” Drew said with a shrug of his own.
“‘It seemed the thing to do,’” she said, mocking his tone. She frowned. “That’s not a very good answer.”
He resisted the urge to smile. Hell, he didn’t know why he’d kissed her. Because the desire to do so had been so overwhelming he hadn’t been able to resist her lips. In fact, he longed to embrace her again, right now. “What would be a good answer?”
“How the devil should I know?” Her hand fluttered to her chest. “I don’t go around kissing unsuspecting people.”
“Fair enough. Well then, I kissed you because I wanted to.” Perhaps honesty would appease her curiosity. “Because your mouth is tempting, even though you talk far too much.”
“That doesn’t even make any sense. Well, the bit about my talking too much, I admit I can be verbose—”
“You’re doing it again,” he interrupted her. He leaned forward, toward her chair. “Only makes me want to kiss you again.”
She waved her hand. “That’s ridiculous.”
“The mere notion of kissing you? Hasn’t any man ever expressed a similar interest?”
A blush stained her exposed throat, marring her lovely creamy skin. Her hand followed the telltale sign of her embarrassment and she fiddled with the necklace around her throat. She swallowed visibly. “I don’t see how that is any of your business. I’m not even certain how we got on this discussion,” she said.
“You asked me why I kissed you.”
“Yes, and your answer is unsatisfactory. I shall merely have to conclude that you men are a peculiar lot.” She pointed at him.
“I’m going to kiss you again, Annabelle,” he said softly.
Her mouth opened, then slowly closed. “Right now?”
“Would you like me to kiss you right now?”
“I cannot answer that.” She shook her head fervently. “It would be utterly improper.”
“You, a lady going to medical school and assisting me with an undercover investigation of a murder? Last night we broke into a government building. Your behavior hasn’t exactly been the pinnacle of propriety.”
Her brow furrowed. “That is quite different.” Her tongue darted out and wet her lips.
He felt a stab of desire, hot and poignant in his gut. Oh yes. He wanted her. Whatever the reason, logical or not, he wanted her quite badly. Too badly, in fact, for him to kiss her now when his passions were so close to the surface. It was entirely too likely they would not be interrupted, that no one would come along and stop him from ruining her here in his parlor.
“You already answered my question,” he said.
She frowned. “I don’t believe I did.”
“Oh yes, Anna, you want me to kiss you very badly. Now that I know that, I’m going to make you wait. For a little longer.”
“You are an insufferable man!” she said as she came to her feet.
Love it? Want more? Get your copy now!
YEAH! It’s release day. I have a love/hate relationship with release days, as I’m sure most authors do. It’s both thrilling and terrifying to send a new story out into the world. And with this release it’s doubling nerve-wracking. First of all it launches a new series for me, the Masquerading Mistresses, a Regency-set series about spies and betrayal and delicious heroes.
Case in point, in NO ORDINARY MISTRESS, you’ll meet Remington AKA Remy who is arrogant and sexy and the very last man that Emma Masterson wants to be assigned to on her most recent assignment. But in order to uncover the identity of a killer, she must masquerade as Remy’s mistress. Here’s a little teaser…
“You will still be on assignment searching for the link between Comfry and the other traitors, not to mention his killer. By working with Remy, he can get you into places that you cannot go yourself.”
“Of all the men in the Seven, why must I work with him?” She didn’t want to be paired up with any man, least of all Remy, who tempted her so and muddled her thoughts and made her wish for all the things she could never have.
“Did you not tell her any of this?” Remy asked.
“No, I thought I’d wait until we were all here together.”
“Coward,” Remy said with another grin.
“Tell me what, precisely?”
“You’ll be posing as my mistress, sweetheart,” Remy said with a lecherous wink.
Emma came to her feet. “I shall do no such thing.” She turned to Harrison. Working with Remy would be bad enough, but pretending to be his mistress? It was intolerable! “There must be another way.”
“We need to make certain you’re protected while we investigate the murder. We can’t afford to pull you from the assignment altogether. You know Comfry’s circumstances and habits better than anyone else. We cannot know if the killer saw you or knew you were there,” Harrison said. “Remy is a qualified spy, Emma. He will take good care of you.”
Her training had taught her how to slow her breathing, gentle her pounding heart, so she could appear in command of her faculties. Inside, though, she stewed in turmoil.
“Indeed.” Remy leaned forward, bracing his elbows on his knees. “And I’ve been needing a new mistress.”
Emma rolled her eyes. “You are a pig.” Her fate was sealed.
Did I tell you the best part? NO ORDINARY MISTRESS is only $0.99, so get yours today and fall in love with Remy. Let’s talk about heroes – what are your favorite kinds of heroes?
Shana’s blog yesterday got me thinking about sexy heroes (like I actually needed an excuse). But to go in the other direction from animated heroes, let’s talk about the wicked ones and why are they so damn sexy?
This question was posed to me for this blog and I decided to tackle the topic because well, who doesn’t love to talk about sexy men? Now the easy answer is…because they’re HOT!
I take this notion of creating heroes quite serious. Consider it for a moment…when you’re reading a romance novel, you want to root for the heroine and fall in love with the hero. If I can’t create a hero that readers can fall in love with, then I’m not doing my job right.
But what is it about the wicked ones, the bad boys, that really call to us? They don’t in the real world (for the most part). I mean most of us are married to the good guys. I know I am. My husband is a college professor for Pete’s sake. While he’d love to thing of himself as a rough-and-tumble tough guy, he’s a big ‘ol softy. So that’s what I want to come home to every night, but when I snuggle up with a book, sometimes I want that rogue.
I think the biggest appeal is not so much how naughty they are, but that they’re naughty with a chance at being redeemed. We want to be that woman that brings that bad boy to his knees. We secretly long to be that girl, the one with the stack of books and the glasses sitting in the school cafeteria and the hottest guy in school walks past those cheerleaders because he can see the reality of who that girl is. He wants to know her. It’s all tied into that fantasy.
So the redeem-ability factor is huge. The other thing is those naughty men give the heroines a reason to be naughty, even if only behind closed doors. It’s nice to fantasize about being able to be daring and reckless with a man, to trust him so much we’d let him take us anywhere.
All right readers, your turn, who’s your favorite bad boy hero? It can be TV, book, movie, whatever.
Something strange must happen to mothers of young children. I remember Kristan Higgins talking about how when her kids were young and how excited she was when a cute actor was on Sesame Street. She’d call her girlfriends to make sure they were watching.
At the time, my daughter was too young to watch Sesame Street, and I think I chalked it up to another one of those weird but funny things Kristan Higgins does.
After four years of watching children’s shows and movies almost exclusively, I think they have messed with my head. I’ve noticed I have crushes on fictional heroes—and not fictional heroes like Jamie from Outlander or Roarke from JD Robb’s In Death series. Heroes like Flynn Ryder from Tangled.
Here he is.
He’s funny! How could you not like that? And he’s a thief who ends up reforming. That’s the stuff romance novels are made of, right? Bad boy hero meets the heroine and changes to be a better man.
And then there’s Terence from Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure.
He’s a great friend to Tinker Bell. I could totally see a Young Adult novel where the best friend Terence ends up winning the fairy heroine.
And I can’t forget Nod from Epic. He’s cute and a warrior. How we do love our sexy warriors in romance novels.
Do you have any crushes on fictional guys—cartoon or otherwise? And if you, like me love Flynn, check out my All Flynn Pinterest board.
There is much to appreciate in the male physique. I am a connoisseur. I consider it part of my job and well, The Professor (my DH) understands, though he does require reminding at times – I tell him, it is my job to know what *other* women find sexy. I can’t very well write authentic to-die-for heroes unless I spend some quality time perusing the male form.
I’m sure you’d all agree.
I’m a big fan of a nice, strong back. Good abs are always nice. And a firm jaw, that certain gets my attention. I can’t forget the eyes, I’m always drawn to eyes (like Joseph Fiennes, not sure what I’d do with myself if those eyes were ever to look in mine…swoon…) Here’s where the confession comes in. I have a thing for thumbs. Yep, you heard that right, but don’t give up on me yet. Ever watched a good romantic movie and the man runs his thumb along the woman’s bottom lip? Or maybe he wipes away one of her tears. All with his thumb. I don’t know what it is about it, but damn it’s sexy. It can even transform completely innocuous actors like Tom Hanks and Billy Crystal into sexy men. I brought visual aids though to prove my case, if you’re still not a believer.
Consider the Peppermint Patty guy. I’m sure you’ve all seen the commercial.
Okay tell me that isn’t sexy when it nibbles that bite off his thumb. Whoa!
It’s a strange fascination, I’ll grant you that. Maybe it’s just an extension of my finding male hands attractive. They’re a great indicator of a man’s strength. Though perhaps it’s nothing more than a way that men in Hollywood pose, just like that common pose for Hollywood starlets to be walking away from the photographer and to look back over their shoulder. Why do they do that? Is it simply to show off the lovely backless part of their dress? Is it simply to look coy? But I digress.
I really think what this boils down to is the little things. You know how when you’re first attracted to someone, you notice those minute details that make them so much more enticing to you. That’s part of why we all love romance novels, isn’t it? To relive that first blush of falling in love (and of course knowing it’s the forever kind of love). To be mesmerized when the hero brushes a curl away from the heroine’s face or when he traces his thumb against the sensitive flesh at her wrist. Shiver! It’s intoxicating and how wonderful that we get to all relive it again and again. Romance readers and writers are quite lucky in that regard.
So how about you? What’s that tiny thing that always gets you going about the opposite sex? Do you agree with me about the thumbs? Or do you like earlobes instead?
*this blog was originally posted as a guest post at the Goddess Blogs