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.
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I hate to recycle an old blog, but I’m on extreme deadline and thought this was a good topic to bring up again…
One of the things about writing that I didn’t realize when I first started was how profoundly personal it would be. Perhaps that makes me an idiot, but that aspect kind of took me by surprise. But I suspect that writers, genre fiction and romance writers, in particular, are very much in tune with their own personal issues – the things that make us tick, that big bag of crud we drag around filled with our greatest fears and insecurities. I suppose song writers probably are equally as aware, but I digress. The point of all of this is if you pay close attention you start to notice things about you – not all of them are the icky things either.
Recently I was reading a book and I had a big epiphany that doesn’t really surprise me, as I can clearly see the pattern in my reading tastes and several of the books I’ve written myself, frankly I’m surprised it took me quite so long to notice. Especially when I look back on a post I wrote here four years ago. So here it goes….when it comes to guys, those romantic hero types, I really am drawn to the pursuer. I suppose this might be why I don’t gravitate toward the more traditional alpha hero because they aren’t always pursuers.
The book I was reading recently that brought all this to my attention was Suzanne Enoch’s The Care and Taming of a Rogue. Now Suzanne is one of my very favorite authors, she’s definitely my go-to gal whenever I need a good pick-me-up because her books are just delightful and perfect in all the right ways. And I love, love, love her heroes. And her heroes are always pursuers, even if they don’t quite understand it themselves, they are completely captivated by the heroine, just can’t get enough and go after her full-throttle. Their unwavering pursuit just makes me feel all gooey on the inside. This is what romance novels are about for me.
Now there are plenty of great ways to put together a romance novel, but at their core, it’s either boy pursues girl or girl pursues boy and both work. But for me that one that makes me come back again and again is the former. It even happened in my own love story. When I met The Professor I wasn’t so sure about him. He was really smart, an intellectual and frankly I felt a smidge intimidated and wondered what we’d ever talk about. And he was so very different from any man I’d ever dated or been attracted to. But he pursued me deftly and it worked.
So how about you? What kind of hero do you gravitate to? Do you notice when you’re reading which character is the pursuer?
*this blog was originally posted in 2001
Recently on my Facebook page I asked what was everyone’s favorite romantic comedy (movie). I got a great response and in the process have compiled a great list.
The top recommended movie was While You Were Sleeping – I would certainly consider this one of the greats.
Second up was You’ve Got Mail. I know that some people have issue with this movie, but I am one of the fans. I love all of it, it’s romantic and charming and funny and sweet and I can watch it any time I stumble upon it on TV even though I own a copy.
The rest of this list were generally mentioned by more than one person, but not as many at these first two. So in no particular order, I give you a list of great romantic comedies as compiled by romance readers/writers.
- Love Actually
- French Kiss
- Working Girl
- Better off Dead
- When Harry Met Sally
- Just Like Heaven
- The Princess Bride
- Six Days and Seven Nights
- Notting Hill
- The Holiday
- Crazy, Stupid Love
- As Good as It Gets (this always reminds me of Because I Said So probably b/c of Diane Keaton – love both of them)
- 27 Dresses
- The Cutting Edge (Toe-pick!)
So what are your thoughts? Do you have any you would add to the list? What’s your favorite? I’ll pick three random winners to give a copy of my latest release, NO ORDINARY MISTRESS.
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?