wildsmallRecently Kathryn Smith became obsessed with finding out more about Teresa Medeiros, who she considers one of her favorite romance authors — and persons! So when the opportunity to interview the NYT bestselling author of this month’s Some Like it Wild, Kathryn jumped up and snatched it! Here’s what she asked, and what Teresa had to say…

KS: Some Like it Wild has a highwayman hero — certainly a favorite amongst romance readers. What do you think is the appeal of the highwayman?
TM: I think almost any outlaw has his romantic appeal, whether he be pirate, highwayman or western outlaw.  First of all, he can kidnap you and carry you away without risking a restraining order. And who doesn’t want to be the woman whose steadfast love coaxes him into her arms and away from a life of crime? 
KS: I know you’re a Buffy fan. Have any shows filled the void since BtVS went off air?
TM: I adore LOST so I guess I’d have to say that Sawyer has filled the snarky, vulnerable, anti-hero hole in my heart left by Spike.  One has a British accent and one a Southern drawl, but they’re both blond and irresistible! My other favorites at the moment are probably LOST and 24. I also just discovered VERONICA MARS on DVD and will have to say it’s probably the closest to Buffy in tone and my affections. Oh, and I’m in love with almost all of the guys on STARGATE: ATLANTIS! :)  
KS: Your books always have plenty of humor in them. Do you consider yourself a funny person?
TM: Humor was always a defense mechanism in our family so…yes.  
KS: So, your mind is sent back in time and put in the body of a 14 year old you. Knowing what you know now, who will it be: Donny or David? Puppy Love or a Partridge?
TM: Sigh, I still love me my SOUND MAGAZINE album by the Partridge Family and think David Cassidy was actually a pretty amazing vocal talent but Donny was my first love so and has turned out to be a wonderful human being and family man so I’d still have to stick with my Donny.
 KS: Russell Crowe called and wants to read one of your books. Which one would you volunteer to read aloud to him?
TM: Definitely YOURS UNTIL DAWN! I finished the book right before seeing MASTER AND COMMANDER and that’s when I realized Russell would have made an amazing Gabriel and developed the first stages of RCO (Russell Crowe Obsession).

sinsofawickedduke_250And now, it’s my turn to interrogate the victim…er, guest.  I’ve asked sexy Scottish vamp Connor Buchanan to stop by and zap Sophie Jordan with some vampire mind control.  There he goes!  Sophie is looking lovely, but dazed and completely motionless in her comfy chair. She is totally under our control.  Back off, Connor! No biting!  Now, Sophie dear, you will answer these five questions…


1) What is your favorite color?

Now, don’t give me that look. I have often heard you refer to your historical romances by color, calling SURRENDER TO ME the purple book and ONE NIGHT WITH YOU the green book, and so forth. All your books have had beautiful covers. Which one was your favorite?  And what color is your new release, SINS OF A WICKED DUKE? (Bwahahaha! That was more than one question. But you are under my control, and there is nothing you can do about it.)


Hmm, okay, let’s see … It’s funny, but I do think of my historical romances by color. And thank you, Connor – I have been blessed with the greatest covers!


There’s my first cover, the white one. Then the red one. Then the green one (probably my favorite because I like green so much). Then the purple one, and now, again, a red one, SINS OF A WICKED DUKE, my newest release. Granted, the red cover for SINS OF A WICKED DUKE is a different shade of red than the red cover of TOO WICKED TO TAME, so in my mind it’s not the same red at all, and it’s definitely my husband’s favorite cover, but that might have something to do with the heroine on the cover that looks like she’s have a grand ol’ time all by herself under that sheet!


2) Your Sophie Jordan books are set in England and Scotland. Have you done any research trips there?


The last time I was in England, I was a teenager, so I haven’t done any official research trips since I became a career writer … but even then, London and those castles served as fodder for my imagination. Now, if you would like to accompany me to your homeland, Connor …


3) You write lush, sensual historical romances as Sophie Jordan and dark, suspenseful paranormal thrillers as Sharie Kohler.  Is it difficult switching from one to the other?  Do you have a different writing process for the two different subgenres?  Do you sometimes forget which name is your real one?


I don’t have a hard time switching. By the time I’ve completed one manuscript, I’m ready to jump into something different. Going back and forth works out well and keeps me fresh.


I work on one novel straight through at a time. If I have an idea for a book in the “other” genre, I just jot down some notes, then keep going on the book with the looming deadline. Yes, a revision letter or copyedits may come in for a book in one genre while I’m working on a book in the other. Then, I have no choice but to stop and get those revisions/edits done, then dive back into the WIP.


As for the names, I’ve gotten pretty accustomed to responding to both. Makes life interesting.


4) Are your historicals and paranormals related to each other? Is there an order they should be read in?


Given that my paranormals are contemporary, they don’t relate to my historical romances … well, they relate in degree of “emotion” and “heat”. Both are pretty sexy, and I find that the steam factor registers pretty equally across both genres for me. My paranormals are part of a series though, so I recommend reading those in order of publication.


5) Dukes, earls, ladies, hunters, werewolves—are there any other people or creatures you would like to write about?


Well, I’m introducing witches into my paranormals. Don’t you know they started the whole werewolf curse?


And I’m interested in dragons … so who knows where that will lead. Basically, I’m game for anything. Who knows what the future holds?


6) Which authors do you like to read?  What great books have you read lately? What is the velocity of an airborne swallow transporting a coconut?  (Bwahahaha!)


Oh, you are evil! I’ll tackle the first question:


Aside of Kerrelyn Sparks and other great paranormal authors like Lara Adrian, I read across all genres, but especially young adult. I enjoyed TWILIGHT and loved, loved, loved THE HUNGER GAMES. I’m enjoying Lisa McMann’s FADE right now – already having devoured WAKE, book one of her series. As for contemporary romance, my new favorite is Kristan Higgins. Her books are wonderful. See, if I’m not careful I can get lost in reading instead of writing … yes, I can be bad, too, Connor!


7) Your new book SINS OF A WICKED DUKE is selling like crazy, so it’s time to celebrate!  What kind of restaurant do you want to go to?  French, Italian, Greek, Chinese, Mexican, or something else? And can I come, too?


Yay! Well, I am a Texas girl, so maybe we should find a Tex-Mex joint. I’m up for some margaritas. But I do have this garlic around my neck — which didn’t do a lot of good here against you, my you’re sitting awful close! — so maybe Italian food. We can crush the garlic into the dipping sauce for our bread.



Thank you, Sophie!  Soon, Connor will release you from his vampire mind control.  You will have no memory of this interrogation, especially the part where we made you to do the chicken dance.


Whew! Thank you, Kerrelyn … and er, Connor.



Happy release week everyone! I braved a visit with Kerrelyn Sparks, New York Times bestselling author of the Love At Stake series. Given the company she keeps, I came prepared with a garlic necklace. Sit back, relax … just don’t sit downwind.

1) Hi, Kerrelyn! SECRET LIFE OF A VAMPIRE is your sixth book in the Love at Stake series. Each book in your series has a wonderful twist! What’s the “twist” in this one?


This one has a character twist with the hero. Giacomo (Jack) is the illegitimate son of Casanova, so everyone assumes he’s a legendary lover like his father. As a young mortal man, Jack has the misfortune of running into three vampire women. When they find out he’s a Casanova, they capture and transform him so they can keep him forever as their love slave.  You can imagine their disappointment when they discover he’s a virgin! And being transformed against his will and held prisoner in a dungeon certainly didn’t put him in an amorous mood.  So they toss him out, and Jack is left with one of his secrets– self-doubt when it comes to his sexual prowess. Fortunately, he’ll get over that when he meets the right woman!


There’s also a plot twist involving a strange vampire cult, but I can’t reveal more than that. You’ll just have to read the book!
2) What do you think is so sexy about vampires?


They’re the ultimate bad boys. They do all the things your mother told you not to do: they sleep all day, party all night, and play with their food. The vamp hero is the loner, the outcast, the sexy guy who’s misunderstood but needs to be loved. And they make wonderful husbands!  They never expect you to cook, they never snore, and they can last all night long.
3) Any chance you might introduce a hero or heroine that is not a vampire or human … hmmm, say another paranormal entity?


Your wish is my command! FORBIDDEN NIGHTS WITH A VAMPIRE, which releases April 28th, features my first werewolf hero!  Phil is an Alpha wolf who falls for a vampire woman named Vanda. When Vanda is ordered by her coven to undergo anger management therapy, Phil becomes her sponsor.  Who’s better equipped than Phil to teach her how to tame the inner beast? And boy howdy, is Phil equipped….
4) Can you entice readers by telling us what are you working on now?


I just finished making two book trailers. You can find SECRET LIFE OF A VAMPIRE on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pylgO86GXPA. The video for FORBIDDEN NIGHTS WITH A VAMPIRE will release March 13th.  And I’m working on book 8 of the Love at Stake series, this one starring one of those sexy Scottish vamps, Robby MacKay.
5) What favorite “guilty-pleasure-munchy” do you enjoy while you write?


Unfortunately, I have a long list of guilty-pleasure munchies, and it shows.  My favorites are nuts (mostly cashews and almonds), cheese, fruit, and chocolate.


(Look for part II of this interview tomorrow, when Kerry turns the tables on Sophie!)

Bride of a Wicked Scotsman - March 2009

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Samantha James, enjoy afternoon tea, and discuss her newest release, Bride of a Wicked Scotsman which arrives in bookstores Feb. 24. I love Samantha’s books and neither dust, dogs, nor deadline will keep me from reading one of her books when it comes out. So pull up a chair, help yourself to some tea, and let’s enjoy our chat.

LH: What makes this Scotsman so wicked?

SJ: Thus far in the trilogy, we’ve see Alec in his role as the Duke of Gleneden, head of the family. But in Alec’s book, the sexy, rakish, wicked side of him is revealed. Alec is charmingly audacious, very, very much a ladies’ man. And of course, there’s the fact — unbeknownst to all – that he’s the descendant of a pirate!

LH: What can you tell us about the curse?

SJ:   I’ll do one better. I’ll let it speak for itself!

From out of the mists and magic steeped in time came a myth — a myth that was born on the lands of the people who came to be called the clan McDonough. It was here, on the very tip of the peninsula, in this place where the wind meets sea and sky, and the sky the earth, where Druids reigned and pagans came to worship their Celtic gods in a temple ringed with standing stones. It is here, said the tale, that the Circle of Light first came to be, beget by the Druid priests. Conjured from sea and sky and water and earth, a symbol of the eternal cycle of life. Of purest silver it was made, a simple pattern, weaved together, a circle that had no end and no beginning.

The Circle of Light resided high upon an altar of stone — floating, suspended with a power of its own, slowly rotating, ever turning, shimmering with myriad color and warmth. The Druids proclaimed that all people of the clan McDonough who worshiped — all who believed in its powers of endurance, would be blessed.

So wondrous was the Circle of Light that St. Patrick himself came to see it. He, too, blessed the Circle, and all of the McDonough and their lands. He decreed that it should remain forever in this place of ancient worship; the clan was charged with its guardianship. In thanks for this blessing, the clan McDonough built their church in honor of St. Patrick, bringing fortune and favor to their lands and people.

As time and tide went by, the McDonough came to believe that to lose the Circle of Light — this enduring cycle of life — would be to lose their good fortune. Such was their belief. Such was their faith. Night after night throughout the centuries, high above the statue of St. Patrick, the Circle of Light was seen through the window to the north, casting out its glow. Shifting and shimmering through mist and moonlight and the darkest night, bringing forth luck and prosperity to the lands of the McDonough as promised. Like a crown of warmth and hope, its light could not be dimmed.

Until the night the Black Scotsman came plundering across the seas, to the land of the McDonough where he seized the Circle for his own . . .

And the truth of the legend came to be.

LH: Reading the excerpt posted on your website, www.samanthajames.com, I loved how you brought one of F.J. Sparrow’s characters to the costume ball. Loved the entire excerpt actually. Alec seems to be quite a bit of fun, and I can already tell that the heroine is a great match for him. I read in another interview that you’d saved his story for last because he needed a special heroine. How did you finally find her and how is it that she’s his match?

SJ:  You noticed the F.J. Sparrow character! I wondered (read: hoped) if that would happen. That costume ball was so much fun . . . Back to Alec, though. Somehow I couldn’t see Alec falling for a white-gloved, fashionable London debutante. He’d be bored silly. He needed to be paired with someone who didn’t conform to Society’s ways. Someone who was more unconventional, more adventurous. And rather than see Scottish vs. English yet again, I thought it would be more fun to pit Irish vs. Scottish.

LH: If Bride of a Wicked Scotsman were to be made into a movie, who would play the hero?

SJ: Do I have to have just one? Because it could be Pierce Brosnan.  Or Hugh Jackman. Or Gerard Butler. But if I have to choose, well, I’ll go with Pierce Brosnan. He’s first in the alphabet.

LH: Tell us five things about Samantha James that we might not know.

SJ:  My favorite food is

peppermint ice cream.

My least favorite food is berries—any kind of berry. And mushrooms. And fish. Oh, that makes three. The strange thing is, my husband detests those same foods.

I’m a back-seat driver. Does t

hat make me a control freak?

My favorite vacation spot is Scotland. Anywhere in Scotland.

I stayed in a haunted castl

e – really. Yes, in Scotland, of course. Alas, I must have been sleeping when the resident ghost appeared.

LH: Oh, I’ve always wanted to visit haunted castle! How fun! Although I don’t know if I would have slept a wink.

Samantha, I want to thank you for joining us today. It’s been a delight as always. To those joining us today, what questions do you have for Samantha?

Bride of a Wicked Scotsman – March 2009

love-perfect-scoundrel-175Sophia, let me begin by saying what fun it is having the chance to interview one of my fellow Avon authors, especially since we’re both from the Washington DC area and coincidentally share the same literary agent. But enough preamble, since I know what readers are really dying to hear about is Love with a Perfect Scoundrel, the third installment in your enthralling Widows’ Club series.

1. Can you give us a little taste of what we can expect in Grace’s story, due to hit bookstore shelves on February 24th?

A Taste? How about: A rugged, wildly attractive mysterious stranger tempts twice-jilted countess to unleash her hidden reserves of desire while snowbound in the wilds of Yorkshire …

Michael Ranier is definitely my very favorite hero to date. He gives Luc St. Aubyn (from A Dangerous Beauty) a run for his money in more ways than one. Aside from the intense chemistry between the hero and heroine, I really enjoyed writing the interactions between the three male characters in this book. They reminded me of all my handsome, cocky male cousins trying to outdo one another on every level. And the ladies in the club grow even closer as more bits of pieces of their pasts were revealed.

This is a stand alone book (just like the other books in the series) which means you don’t have to read them in order. In fact many people have written to say they prefer to read them out of order!

2. Each of your books in this series feature widows and the club formed by the outrageous Dowager Duchess of Helston. What attracted you to the idea of writing stories about widows? And why do your widowed heroines keep changing the name of their club? Can’t these ladies make up their minds <g>?

The idea for the series came during a luncheon with a group of my friends when someone asked how all our lives would change if our husbands suddenly were taken from us. The responses were startling. Some said they would never recover. Others said they would survive and make a new life. And most shocking was one who admitted she would be relieved. I was intrigued that one question revealed so many different answers—and a series was born.

Soon an image formed in my mind of a mysterious dowager duchess who comforts a bevy of women left alone in the world and the gentlemen whose fates intertwine with the ladies’ own. I set the first two books in Cornwall, England — truly one of the loveliest places I’ve seen in the world. But with the third book, I moved the location to London and Derbyshire.

And no, just like me, these ladies can not arrive on a suitable name for their club. The Widows Club sounds just like a bunch of old crows. Merry Widows is a bit overused. They tried Barely Bereaving Beauties, and now The Wicked Ways of Willful Widows. Who knows what it will be by the end of the series…

3. I know I’ll be savoring every page-turning moment of Love with a Perfect Scoundrel and be left wanting more when it’s over. To tide us avid readers over, can you share a few hints about the next book and how long we’re going to have to wait until we can read it?

There is a novella (see below) to break up the lull between books. But I can give this hint: The working title for the fourth book is “Four Weddings & a Scandal.” This will probably not stick given the title of the anthology! But it does give you a feel for the content… A huge secretwill be revealed in the last book (and one of the weddings might surprise you!)

4. You have a novella coming out this summer in the Four Dukes and a Devil anthology. Will the story feature another willful widow or an entirely new set of characters?

Tracy, I am so excited to be in this anthology with you, Jeaniene Frost, Elaine Fox, and Cathy Maxwell. I have always wanted to savor the challenge of a short story. It was so much fun that I am hoping we get to do it again! And yes, the novella, “Catch of the Century” is a spin-off story from the series. It is completely stand alone but readers will also catch glimpses of the Duke of Helston and the outrageous Dowager Duchess as well as two other characters (including the heroine) from the series.

5. And lastly–because enquiring minds want to know–what is your favorite movie? Favorite book? Favorite food? And if you could go anywhere in the world all-expenses paid, where would you go and why?

Ack, I LOVE movies…and have so many favorites. I just finished watching “Intolerable Cruelty” again yesterday, which I love. The plotting and repartee is priceless. Favorite book? Now, I know you’re joking. There are too many to list. But the book I reach for the most? The DICTIONARY! Favorite food? Sushi and French desserts. Fave dream trip? Lately, I’ve had a hard-to-ignore hankering to go to Australia. I keep waiting for Anna Campbell to step up to the plate and invite me, but alas, I think she is secretly afraid I will eat all her Tim Tams and never leave. Scotland and Ireland are a close second and third.

tempted-by-his-kiss-175Hi everyone! Tracy and I belong to the same local writer’s community and since we’ve both got books coming out on Tuesday, we thought it would be fun to interview each other…

Hope you enjoy!

Best wishes,

Sophia Nash

1. Tracy, I’m so excited a fellow Washingtonian has joined the Avon family! And I know readers are clamoring to hear all about your new series. Can you tell us a little about the Byrons of Braebourne and the first book, Tempted By His Kiss, which will be available on Feb. 24th?

Sophia, thank you so much for the warm welcome! It’s great to have an opportunity to chat with you and all my readers here at AvonAuthors.com. I’m tremendously excited to be writing for Avon Books and about the release of my new Byrons of Braebourne series.

The series is set in Regency-era England and will follow the Byron siblings––a daring bunch known for their scandalous ways and rakish exploits. Just like Lord Byron, the poet, my Byrons are every bit as ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know,’ as their poetic non-relation. There are eight of them––so lots of romance and excitement lies ahead!

In Tempted By His Kiss, soldier and spy, Lord Cade Byron, returns home to England after being tortured by the French. Wounded in both body and soul, he buries himself in his remote Northumberland estate wanting only to be left alone. But fate intervenes when a snow storm lands orphaned Admiral’s daughter, Meg Amberley, on Cade’s doorstep. Stranded together, Meg’s reputation is soon compromised. A false engagement and a London Season seem like the perfect solution . . . until they find themselves tempted by a kiss that just may lead to forever.

2. In the past you’ve had back to back-to-back releases (i.e. three books in three consecutive months): the Trap Trilogy and the Mistress Trilogy. Can you tell readers and writers what are the pros and cons of writing/releasing books in this fashion?

You’re precisely right, Sophia, that both my Trap Trilogy and my Mistress Trilogy were originally released on a back-to-back schedule. That kind of quick release schedule is one that many readers really love, since it allows them to get deeply involved in a fictional world, knowing they’ll only have to wait a few weeks at most to read the next book in the series. The downside, however, is that once those three months are up, there are no new books until the author has time to write more. This lag between books is one of the biggest drawbacks for both readers and authors alike. There’s a definite element of instant gratification with back-to-backs, but then there’s the “withdrawal” of having no new novels from a favorite author for as long as a year or more.

In addition to the lag time between releases, writing back-to-backs is a very intensive process that can be draining for an author in terms of energy and creativity. This is one of the reasons I’ve decided to transition to a more traditional release schedule for my new Byrons of Braebourne series. I want to keep writing great stories that readers love, and being on a schedule that allows me to produce one book every few months, instead of three right in a row, will help me stay creatively fresh and full of new ideas!

Plus, the upside for readers is that while they’ll only be able to read two full-length Tracy Anne Warren novels in 2009, they’ll get two more in 2010. So actually, over a two year period, they’ll be one book further ahead in the series than they would be with a three book back-to-back release! A win for author and reader alike.

3. A week from now, after I devour Tempted by His Kiss, I know I will be dying to know the story behind book two, Seduced by His Touch. Can you drop a few hints now? Please?

Since you asked so nicely, Sophia, how can I possibly resist? Seduced By His Touch is about rakehell brother Jack, and I can safely assure you that he is a very bad boy! When a game of cards goes horribly awry, Jack finds himself deeply in debt to a rich shipping merchant. But the merchant doesn’t want his money. Instead, he wants Jack to woo and wed his spinster daughter. But there’s a catch . . . Jack has to convince her it’s a love-match!

4. Ahem, a little bird told me you’ve also got a novella coming out this summer. Is it part of the Byrons of Braebourne series?

It sure is! My novella is part of the Four Dukes and a Devil Anthology (which curiously enough features a novella by you as well, Sophia!), and is scheduled for release on June 30th! The story features a Byron cousin, India Byron, who finds herself in need of rescue from an unwanted suitor. To create the illusion that she’s being courted by another man, she demands a kiss from the devilish Duke of Weybridge. Little does she know what she’s started when she finds him only too happy to oblige.

5. OK–cramming all the things I’m dying to know in one long question: Chocolate or Vanilla? Tea or

Coffee? Alpha Male or Beta Male? Tiger Red or Bridal Blush? Angelina or Jen? And cats or dogs? (OK, I know the answer to the last one ; }…

Chocolate––hands down.

Tea—I adore tea, and not just because I write Regency historicals.

Alpha or Beta Male—Alpha. Although I like Beta’s sometimes too!

Bridal Blush—I adore soft pastels.

Jen—but only because Brad should have broken it off with her before he hooked up with Angelina.

Cats—Yes, you do know the last one. To see pictures of my three adorable cats and learn more about my books, please visit my website at www.tracyannewarren.com!

Sophia, it’s been wonderful chatting with you. Thank you so much and happy reading everyone!

what-i-did-for-love-175Gayle Callen caught up to Susan Elizabeth Phillips to talk about her new book, What I Did For Love–and no, Gayle isn’t stalking her again, although there are some videos on the Avon Books site that are pretty incriminating…

GC: Your new book, WHAT I DID FOR LOVE, deals with celebrities. How famous are you?
SEP: Nothing like starting off the interview with a little sarcasm… Let’s just say that I’m not quite as famous as Bram and Georgie, my hero and heroine. Wait! At our neighborhood bookstore last week, a customer asked me if I was Janet Evanovitch. Does that count?

GC: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to learn about you?
SEP: I’m a terrible speller, I can cry at the drop of a hat, and I have a crush on Tim Gunn from Project Runway. As for my other secrets… Not telling!

GC: Which classic have you always meant to read and never got around to it?
SEP: Any classics I meant to read, I’ve already read. A few I’ve never forgiven myself for opening. MOBY DICK springs to mind.

GC: Do you have any favorite place to write?
SEP: I have a beautiful office. (See photos) But I end up carrying my laptop to our upstairs guest room. Laptop doesn’t connect to Internet. Guest room has a beat up Laz-E-Boy. ‘Nuff said.

GC: What is your favorite word?
SEP: Ice Cream. Oh, wait, that’s two words. Still…


Debut Avon Author Jaime Rush recently took the time out of her busy schedule to have a chat with the lovely and talented Julianne MacLean. Here’s what was said:

JR: You have said that you enjoy the process of making video trailers, and the video for The Mistress Diaries is indeed spectacular. What is it that appeals about both making them and putting them out there for the public?

JM: We’ve had great fun filming those videos, and mostly it’s just for the pure joy of it. My husband is a doctor by day, but filmaking is his creative outlet. He loves making movies, and works on a lot of projects in our local area (Nova Scotia is a popular place for movies. Part of Titanic was filmed here, and The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, among many others). My husband also has a wacky sense of humor, and we wanted to something outside the box, which would purely entertain.

JR. Your recent books seem to play with that tantalizing theme of forbidden love. In The Mistress Diaries, for example, she is a noblewoman and he, a mere groomsman. In When a Stranger Loves Me, she is an heiress, and he, a stranger with no memory of his previous life. She must seduce him to have the child she needs to secure her family’s estate. Have you purposely been drawn to this theme…or is it something in your own life that inspires?

JM: (Tracy – the hero in The Mistress Diaries is the son of a duke (not sure where the groomsman comes from, LOL!) – but it was still forbidden because he was engaged to another woman.)
Yes, I’ve always been drawn to this theme of forbidden love, because it makes the obstacles intense and emotional. Wanting someone when you can’t have them can drive a person to the point of obsession. Also, a love scene where both characters are trying to resist “going all the way” is very exciting to write. It adds an element of danger and conflict and inner turmoil to the scene. In WHEN A STRANGER LOVES ME, there’s also the possibility that the hero might have a wife, but he can’t remember because he has amnesia. It made their decision to make love so much more complex. I also love it when passions threaten to override common sense. I’m sure we’ve all been in the position of knowing in our heads that something is not prudent, yet we still want to do it. The lure of the forbidden – it’s a universal theme as old as Adam and Eve.

JR: Amnesia has been used many times in novels. What makes this fascinating situation different in When a Stranger Loves Me?

JM: It’s funny, it is a classic theme, but I haven’t read that many historicals lately that have used it. For a while there were a ton of contemporaries with the world “amnesia” in the title, and I’d certainly heard many editors over the years say that “amnesia sells.” So people obviously like it.

I wanted to do one for a while, but I also wanted to make sure that it was not so much an external plot device, but more of a characterization issue. I wanted the lost memory to be a great sense of torment for my character, and cause him inner pain and confusion and sorrow. I think I accomplished that with Blake. He had to rediscover his identity, not just in an external sense (to learn that he was the son of a duke who needed a wife) – but also internally. He didn’t know if he was a scoundrel deep down, or a decent, responsible man, because he had no history in which to recall his previous actions in life. He felt torn between both traits sometimes.

JR: What is the best thing about being a romance writer?

JM: Reliving the experience of first love, over and over again.

JR: What is the most indulgent thing that you do for yourself?

JM: I insist on private time when I need it – whether it’s to read a book or watch a movie by myself. Thankfully I have a wonderful husband who is an amazing Dad and loves to do fun things with our daughter, so I never feel guilty about it.


Grand Dame of Historical Romance, Elizabeth Boyle recently bullied sweet-talked Kathryn Smith into sitting down for an interview, and here’s how it went:

EB: With Night after Night being the last of Brotherhood of Blood series, do you have any thoughts on why it is vampires are so bloody popular? No pun intended.

KS: Personally I think vampires suck. Pun intended. :-) Actually, I’ve given a lot of thought as to why vampires are so popular. I think it’s because you really can have ‘forever’ with a vampire. He’s the perfect tortured hero and the ultimate bad boy. He’s a protector but he’s also very vulnerable in so many ways. I think that’s the appeal — that and the overall incredible sexiness that comes with the job. And when you factor in that the heroine is actually a form of sustenance for him, literally keeping him alive, well…it’s a powerful fantasy, isn’t it?

EB:  What one thing would probably surprise people about you?

KS: I have an I.Q. of 150. LOL! Actually, I think what would surprise a lot of people is that I am very hard on myself. I’m constantly struggling with my self-worth and trying to like myself more. I really want to be one of those people who is comfortable in her own skin and doesn’t worry so much about what people might think. I guess I’m a work in progress.

EB: Give us a sneak peek into the new series, set in the Victorian times. What inspired this new series?

KS: The new series is actually more of a new ‘world’. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that a series can write you into a corner if you’re not careful with it and don’t leave yourself a lot of room. So with this new series, which loosely centers around a London club, I’m building a large group of reoccurring characters that will form the social landscape of the books. This way there will never be one character or one couple who I have to make the next book about. Even though the initial plan is to begin the series with a trilogy about brothers, there are already several characters I find interesting enough to have their own book. I like having room to pick and choose, and allow the characters to decide who should have their story told next.

As for inspiration, I’ve just fallen in love with the Victorian era. It lends itself to so much. I love that it was so rigid on the surface and so debauched underneath. There was so much roughness during that time, so much change in the world. It must have seemed like anything was possible, and I think that gives me so much to work with as a writer.

EB: Besides here, where can readers find you in the next few months?

KS: I’ll be blogging with the Romance Bandits on Feb 5th, and also with Yankee Romance Reviewers on the same day. Busy! I’m also going to be guesting at Romantic Times on their Ask the Author forum from the 9th til the 22nd. And I’ll be at the New England Chapter of the Romance Writers of America’s annual conference in March.

EB: Let’s get to the really important question that all the readers are dying to know. Who’s funnier, me or Adele Ashworth?

KS: Well, there are just so many factors to consider! Now, Adele does compliment me more on a regular basis, but you really know how to make a few well placed ego-strokes work to advantage. Adele has let me sleep in her guest room, however. And since I’ve seen Adele first thing in the morning I’m going to have say its…a tie. Seriously, you didn’t think I’d answer that, did you? I like  my neck in one piece, thank you! ;-)

Where the Heart Leads

Kathryn Smith recently had a chance to chat with bestselling Avon Author Stephanie Laurens. Here’s what was said:

KS: When you were six years old, what was your life’s ambition?

SL: I’m not sure I had a “life ambition” at that age – I was very much in a “living in the moment” stage then. I do, however, know I used to write stories at that age. Not for anyone, not thinking I would be a writer, but just because. I never intended them for anyone else to read, I just used to have fun thinking up and writing stories.

KS: Who was your first ‘famous’ crush and what do you think of him now?

SL: First “famous” crush…I think it was the guy who played Illya Kuryakin in The Man from Uncle. David…was it Davil Ireland? I can still see him clearly in my mind, but clearly I have no memory for names! Not sure he’d make my top 10 list today – times, and the eye of the beholder–and the competition–have changed.

KS: When did you decide you wanted to become an author?

SL: I think it was after I had my 5th book published. Prior to that, I was just playing, doing something I enjoyed, and incidentally someone was paying me for it. Then, for completely unconnected reasons, I decided to “retire” from my scientific career, and so had lots of time on my hands and felt compelled to fill it in some way, so I thought I might as well put more focus on my stories and writing, and my writing career really expanded after that. I suppose the true answer to your question is never. I never “decided”–I just became one.

KS: What is your favorite scene in your latest book?

SL: In most of my books, the first scene when the hero and heroine meet is the one where things get “ooh! interesting…” Those scenes are my favorite to write, because there’s always a lot of promise, and an element of humor inherent in the set-up – so in WHERE THE HEART LEADS, it would be the opening scene of the book, in which Penelope Ashford talks Barnaby Adair into helping her find missing ophan boys, and in the new Cynster novel, TEMPTATION AND SURRENDER, it’s the scene where Emily goes to Jonas’s home, and gets him to hire her as manager of the local inn.

KS: If you were a single Regency miss and you could capture the attention of any of your heroes, who would you most want to have pursue you?

SL: That’s an easy question – Royce, Duke of Wolverstone, aka Dalziel – the hero in my August (late July!) release, the very last Bastion Club novel, MASTERED BY LOVE.

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