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Mary Blayney is BACK!!!

(Diane here) Today we welcome back one of my best friends, Mary Blayney. Mary visited the Riskies just a year ago for the release of her novella Amy and The Earl’s Amazing Adventure in JD Robb’s anthology DEAD OF NIGHT. Today I’m delighted to tell you Mary Blayney is BACK!

Not only does she have a new novella but she’s back on the Romance bookshelves with her exciting single title double debut, TRAITOR’S KISS/LOVER’S KISS. I’ve been waiting for this ever since her last Kensington Regency, THE CAPTAIN’S MERMAID. I’ve missed Mary’s quiet, elegant writing. The novellas were just not enough to quench that thirst. Well, this month I’ve been happily drowning in Mary Blayney stories. Bantam released TRAITOR’S KISS/LOVER’S KISS on Oct 28 followed by Berkley’s release of the new JD Robb anthology SUITE 606 on Nov 4.

Whoo hoo!

Mary will give away one signed copy of TRAITOR’S KISS/LOVER’S KISS and one copy of SUITE 606 signed by ALL the authors: JD Robb, Ruth Ryan Langan, Mary Kay McComas, and Mary. We’ll pick the winners at random from our lovely commenters.

Heerrreee’s, Mary!

1. Tell us about TRAITOR’S KISS and LOVER’S KISS, your double book and the start of the Pennistan family series.

TRAITOR’S KISS and LOVER’S KISS is the launch of a new series I’m writing for Bantam. It offers two full length novels in one volume for the amazing price of $6.99. I’m delighted with all Bantam has done to make this series available to readers and am happy to note it is in bookstores everywhere and Target, Walmart and Kmart.

The Pennistan Family has been titled almost as long as there have been kings in England. Now a ducal family, the main seat of the Duke of Meryon is Pennford Castle in Derbyshire, near the Peak District, beautifully illustrated on the cover of TRAITOR’S KISS and LOVER’S KISS. As the series open, we meet the five children of the second Duke of Meryon: the third duke, his three brothers and one sister. There is also an illegitimate brother who is on the periphery of their life, Capt Robert Wilton, happily married and living far away in Sussex.

TRAITOR’S KISS is my salute to the Scarlet Pimpernel. From the first page the reader knows it – if not from the heroine’s name, which is Charlotte Parnell – then from what happens in the opening scene.

The year is 1814 and Lord Gabriel Pennistan has been in a French prison for eight months, apparently forgotten as Napoleon’s efforts to rule the world fall apart. He has no idea why he was taken from Spain to LeHavre after witnessing the death of seven men. Why was he not murdered as well?

When a priest and a nun come to his cell, his confusion grows and not only because the nun is wearing perfume. It is one more question in a long, long list for which he is determined to find explanations. As the story unfolds Gabriel finds answers to all of them though not as quickly as he would like.

LOVER’S KISS opens in the spring of 1816, the year without a summer. Michael Garrett is on this way to Manchester, after deciding that he will not use his letter of introduction to the Duke of Meryon. His time in the army is all the proof he needs that he does not take commands well. How would working for a duke be different than taking orders from his colonel?

His plans change when he comes upon a naked woman wandering in the woods, desperate and near death. He saves her life and tries to gain her trust and when he finds out her real name he realizes that he will have to meet the Duke of Meryon after all.

2.This double-book marks your return to novel length Regencies. What are the differences, if any, between writing longer, single-title length novels and writing traditional Regencies?

For me the most significant difference is that a longer historical involves more of the world of Regency politics, history and the world-changing aspects of a period that is on the cusp of change. All the Pennistans are involved in this. Gabriel’s world revolves around the end of the Napoleonic War. Michael and Olivia are a sign that the world is changing and the roles we expect people to play will no longer apply.

For the duke in STRANGERS KISS, the next in the series, I am writing about a man who sees change and wants to make the right choices for the right reasons.

Despite what I just wrote, romance is at the heart of story, but you did ask what was different for me. No matter what I write, the relationships among all the characters are what fascinates me the most.

3. What is risky about TRAITOR’S KISS and LOVER’S KISS?

TRAITOR’S KISS: a story which is essentially a role reversal – where the woman is rescuing the man – how do you keep the hero from being a wimp?

LOVER’S KISS: all those alpha males in one castle. How do you keep them from fighting to the death for the right to be boss? (Hint: there is a boxing ring involved)

4. Cut-paper transparencies feature in TRAITOR’S KISS. Can you tell us about this little known Regency art form?

Cut-paper transparencies are layers and layers of varying weights of paper colored from white, to cream, gray and sometimes red and black and blue that are cut out and glued in layers to represent a scene.

The silhouettes aka cut-paper transparencies that I have seen are not much bigger than six by eight inches. They feature everything from a volcano erupting (complete with red paper for the lava) to a scene by a lake in great detail: a man in boat, a horse grazing under a tree on a piece of fenced in land, with a mountain in the background. Think small and exquisite detail.

Once complete, the tansparencies are set in a window and the sun brings the piece to life. They are very fragile which is why so few survived the period.

What is just as interesting about my experience of them is the serendipity of discovery. Diane Gaston (!) and I were visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art In NYC – we walked through a hallway that had new acquisitions on display. We walked through that hallway THRRE times and each time I glimpsed a small, well lit, fascinating silhouette-like display. Finally, some angel nudged me and I said to Diane., “Let’s take a minute and look at these” I knew then I wanted to use them in a book and I am delighted I found a significant way to use them in TRAITOR’S KISS.

If you are inclined to visit the Met to see them you will have to make an appointment as they are no longer on display. They are however, very available if you ask.

(I’ve never forgotten those transparencies! I remember reading off the information on the display while Mary wrote it down. How amazing that we two Regency fanatics discovered them together.)


5. Tell us about Love Endures in SUITE 606?

The idea for “Love Endures” has been around a long time. In one of my Kensington traditional regencies, THE PLEASURE OF HIS COMPANY, there was a scene where a woman wearing mourning comes into an ever so slightly risqué party (it is a trad Regency after all.) She throws money at the feet of one of the guests and leaves. I knew what the story was but never had a chance to tell it until SUITE 606. I had to make a number of changes for a number of reasons but at the heart of it Summer Cassidy and Steven Bradley are clones of Lucy Brevier and Lord Ian: would be lovers manipulated by a third until death makes all things possible–if only they can see through the lies and the ghostly efforts of the dead man.

6. Do you, J.D. Robb, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Mary Kay McComas collaborate on the stories you contribute to the anthology? How does this all work?

No we don’t collaborate. That said, in Mary Kay’s SUITE 606 novella ‘Wayward Wizard,’ her time traveling characters appear in each of the other novellas. Lots of fun but the only instance in which we have ever worked together in any way.

As it has developed over the years, an umbrella title is suggested and we write a novella using as much of that title as we want. In 606, the suite is at the heart of JD Robb’s novella. In Mary Kay McComas’s it gets a single LOL mention, an aside really, but very cleverly done.

The only thing the stories have in common is that they must have a paranormal element. I think of it as a romance sampler.

7. What’s next for you?

Lynford Pennistan’s, story. He is better known as the third Duke of Meryon. Yes, he is married during the first two KISS novels but in the epilogue of LOVER’S KISS, his wife has died. STRANGER’S KISS opens as Meryon returns to the London social whirl.

Then (she says without pausing for breath), as soon as I send STRANGER’S KISS to my editor, I have to finish the next novella (the fourth anthology if you’re keeping track). It’s the story of a man cursed since 1810 and the woman whose singing (and love) frees him.

Both of these will be out in the second half of 2009.

I can’t wait!
Thanks for visiting Risky Regencies, Mary.

Remember, Mary’s giving away 2 free books so tell her what you think of her books or ask her a question or some comment to put you in the running to win.
Winners will be picked monday night and announced Tuesday before Cara’s blog.

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Sue
Sue
14 years ago

Mary,
I can’t believe how busy you are but it’s good for readers that you have so many books coming out. The collaboration book sounds great and I can’t wait to see how you weave in the paranormal element. Where had the cut paper transparency that you saw in NY come from?
Sue

Mary Blayney
14 years ago

Hi Sue — Busy is the word, but I love writing and for me the process is not complete until someone reads the work. So this phase of my career has been a lifelong dream come true and balances out quite nicely the twelve years when I sold nothing!

The forty-one cut paper transparencies at the Met in New York are the work of one woman whose full name is not known. It appears that she did the work as a hobby – silhouettes were very popular in the early part of the 18th century. Well known artists of the period also did work with silhouettes. My use of them is by an artist who falls somewhere in between the two.

The only other group of transparencies that equals the one at the Metropolitan is in a private collection in Northern Ireland, so you can see how serendipitous our discovery of them was.

Elena Greene
14 years ago

Hi Mary! It’s great to have you here again and congrats on all the new releases. Your own story is inspiring, too. 🙂

Deb Marlowe
14 years ago

Hi Mary! How nice to see you again!

These stories sound fabulous, and how exciting that we can look forward to a whole series! I picked up my copy yesterday and can’t wait to dive in.

The transparencies sound fascinating. A gift from the universe! 🙂 I love being able to use tidbits like that.

Mary Blayney
14 years ago

Hi Elena and Deb — great to meet you here. Yes, Deb, a gift from the universe — I am sure they surround us every day, it’s another kind of gift to recognize them and open them up!

Elena, my story is really about dogged determination and the Churchill quote – Never, never, never give up. It helped a lot that one day Nora said to me “Why don’t you write a Regency?” Deb, another gift from the universe.

Amanda McCabe
14 years ago

Welcome back to RR, Mary! These stories sound so intriguing, I can’t wait to read it for my “holiday treat” (or rather, get away from the holiday treat!). How did the two-in-one idea come about?

Christine Trent
14 years ago

Hi Mary,
I haven’t read “Lover’s Kiss” yet, although your book has permanent residence on my nightstand. I keep warring with myself between reading your book and reading research from my second book (second book is winning so far).

In “Traitor’s Kiss,” I thought you did a very good job at keeping Gabriel in a very manly role, even though Charlotte is doing all of the rescuing. In fact, he almost seems to be in charge, despite the fact that he is confused by Charlotte a great deal of the time!

Congrats on so much continued success, and my personal thanks for encouraging me to write when I wasn’t sure I could do it.

Christine

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

Hey, that’s my motto too! Never Never Never Give up (I stole it from Mary. At a low point she gave me a little needlepoint pillow with the saying on it and I sold soon after).

Welcome back, Mary! I’m well into Lover’s Kiss.

Anonymous
Anonymous
14 years ago

Sounds fascinating. I look forward to reading your double book, but I have no idea how I’m supposed to leave a comment here other than being anonymous.

Joanna Waugh
14 years ago

I’m in the process of finishing Lover’s Kiss but thoroughly enjoyed Traitor’s Kiss! Both are fantastic reads, Mary!

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

Anonymous, there may be other ways to not show up as Anonymous, but one way is to get a google account (see HERE )

You can then sign up for a Blogger account at http://blogger.com

The Google account may be enough though.

In any event, you are still in the running to win a book and if there are more than one Anonymouses we’ll announce based on your comment. Look here late Monday night or early Tues morning.

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

Joanna and Christine, you are becoming “regulars.” That is sooo nice!

Mary Blayney
14 years ago

Good Morning to the rest of you…

Amanda — the two-in-one concept was something that Bantam had tried once before earlier in this century with great success. My editor, Shauna Summers, thought it would be a sure-fire way to introduce readers to my work. We’ll see if it works as well as it did last time. The world and especially the economy is sure in a different place now.

Christine, I know exactly what you mean about the pull between reading and writing. If feel like I collect Regencies since I so rarely have time to read as many as I want to. Thanks for buying it even if you never have time to actually read it!

Hey annonymous — I will let one of the Riskies tell you how to get your name up there.

Joanna, thanks for the kind words — I think the stories are very different in mood — one much sweeter than the other. Shauna and I are curious to see which is more popular. So far, it’s even.

zeugmatics
14 years ago

Thanks. I don’t really like being anonymous. It’s so . . . anonymous.

Pam Rosenthal
14 years ago

…the pull between reading and writing…

Yes, exactly, Mary. Even or especially for so slow a reader and writer as I am. But the opening pages of TRAITOR’S KISS breathes richness and promise. A wonderful read for this season. Huge congrats.

Louisa Cornell
14 years ago

Hello, Mary and Riskies!! I have not fallen off the earth as rumor has it. I have simply been banned from the blogs by my dictatorial CP until I finish this year’s GH entry and get it in the mail. However, I HAD to stop by and tell everyone how fantastic Traitor’s Kiss and Lover’s Kiss are!! I was lucky enough to get a copy in San Francisco and started it on the plane ride home. The prose is gorgeous, the characters are fabulous – especially the heroes – and the stories are just transporting! Can you tell I really liked both books?

Mary and I shared high tea at the BeauMonde kickshaws workshop in San Francisco and had a long talk about the joys of working in retail! YUCK! Anyone NOT understand why a good romance novel or two are such a big deal to me?

Mary, I am really looking forward to taking a look at your paranormal take on the historical novella. I’ll have to pick up the anthology. They are great to take to work with me (when I’m not buried in the writing cave)as I can read them in snippets easier than an entire novel. The people at work do NOT understand the concept of “just one more chapter please!”

I can’t wait to read the sequels to Traitor’s Kiss and Lover’s Kiss. LOVE those men! Sigh!

Okay, I need to run before my CP catches me! She actually checks the blogs to see if I am posting. EEEEK!

Write faster, Mary!

Virginia
14 years ago

Mary, I just don’t see how authors do it. They seem to be able to keep up with there home life, sometimes a job and still find time to write. It seems like I have trouble keeping up with what I need to do and I don’t write, I’m just a reader. How do you do it?

Mary Blayney
14 years ago

Hi Pam, thanks for the visit.

Louisa, it is great to have you in my corner! Let me know what you think of ‘Love Endures” and if you want to know more about the coin that has a small paranormal presence see if you can track down a copy of the BUMP IN THE NIGHT anthology — and my novella, ‘Poppy’s Coin’

Viginia, how do I do it? I am still trying to figure that out. I hate time pressure and over the last two years I’ve done my best to simplify my life so that I can be writing focused. I do not have another job but was involved in quite a few volunteer activities which I had to withdraw from.

On the day-to-day level, I am lucky to have someone who cleans for me every couple of weeks. I cook very simple meals or not at all depending on the looming deadline. My husband is retired from an all consuming job so he gets it when I don’t answer the phone or we have popcorn and soup for dinner. I guess it’s all about valuing time and being careful not to waste it on things that are not important to me.

michellewillingham
14 years ago

Hi Mary–

We met at RWA last summer. Congrats on your release! We were rooting for you at the Ritas!

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

Thanks. I don’t really like being anonymous. It’s so . . . anonymous.

zeugmatics, this is surely not an anonymous name!!!

Michelle, I think you mean Mary Kay McComas, whose JD Robb novella made the finals of the RITA. Although I thought Mary Blayney’s deserved the RITA nod, too. But you who are lost in the Irish Mediveal period might make these mistakes!!!

Janet Mullany
14 years ago

Hi Mary, it’s good to have you visit us again! I knew about silhouettes but didn’t know about transparencies–I read somewhere that the price of paper dropped dramatically at the end of the 18c, and possibly that’s why you get so much artwork/hobbies based on paper use.

Valerie L
Valerie L
14 years ago

As a big fan of your traditional Regencies, I’m excited to go looking for Traitor’s Kiss/Lover’s Kiss. A trip to K-Mart is in my future this week! Thanks for never giving up, and I look forward to see how your incorporated those transparencies into your story.

Jane
14 years ago

Hi Mary,
Congrats on your recent releases. I like the idea of a heroine rescuing the hero. I’m looking forward to reading about the Pennistans. Do you enjoy Georgian and medieval romances?

ladygarnet71
14 years ago

Mary – I enjoyed your last novella very much and look forward to this one, along with your twofer! I need to sneak out of the house while football is blaring and take care of my addiction, er, book buying!

Debra Key Newhouse from WRW

Margaret Evans Porter
14 years ago

Mary, I’ve enjoyed your books in the past and look forward to reading your double edition. Not sure I can find it here–in England–so must wait a while longer.

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

Margaret, you CAN get Traitor’s Kiss and Lover’s Kiss in the UK through amazon.co.uk

The price isn’t bad at all!

Even Suite 606 is available at Amazon UK.

Megan Frampton
14 years ago

Thanks for stopping by! Your Kiss books sound really cool. Two books for the price of one! Yay!

Amanda McCabe
14 years ago

I think popcorn and soup makes an excellent dinner! And a two-in-one would make great sense when trying to save book money. :))

I found a copy at Wal Mart today, so it is out there!

Pam Rosenthal
14 years ago

OMG…

Just opened the Sunday NY Times Book Review. Mary is too ladylike to mention it, but I’m gonna barge in and tell you all that Suite 606 is NUMBER TWO on the mass market best seller list! omg and wtg!

CrystalGB
14 years ago

Hi Mary. Congratulations on your new release. Your books sound wonderful.

Mary Blayney
14 years ago

Can you tell I went off to the movies this afternoon. I’m back and delighted to see so many familiar names dropped by.

The NYT Bestseller listis great fun and for that I owe a big fat THANK YOU to Nora, or rather JD Robb.

More after dinner

Delle Jacobs
14 years ago

Congratulations on the Best Seller list, Mary! And I think the 2-in-1 book is just perfect for today’s market. The one thing every reader needs right now is a great bargain in books, and what better than two at almost the price of one?

I read about transparencies somewhere, but didn’t have any idea what they were. How exciting that you and Diane found them!

Delle, who is munching on a huge piece of fudge brought by hubby, and just discovered it has something that must be brandied currants in it! Incredible!

Margie
Margie
14 years ago

Hi Mary! Congrats on your latest releases! Your books sound wonderful! I’m looking forward to reading them.

Linda Banche
14 years ago

I love Regencies and I can’t get enough of them. I’m glad you’re back.

ArkieRN
14 years ago

Hi Mary,

Congratulations on the great reviews and sales on your new books.

Mary Blayney
14 years ago

Good evening — thanks for your interest, everyone.

Back from dinner, walked the dog, checked in here and am now going to read for awhile — btw, I’m reading the YA RITA winner WICKED LOVELY.

Will check back later to see if you are still awake…

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

Whoo hoo, number two on the NYT Bestseller list. Way to go, anthology Ladies!

Mary, I’ve seen Traitor’s Kiss/Lover’s Kiss in a grocery store in NC, a small used and new bookstore in NC, somewhere else around here that I now can’t remember….Oh, I know. It was on a display at one of the bookstores. And Suite 606 was in our grocery store.

Anonymous
Anonymous
14 years ago

Oooo, a Scarlet Pimpernel tribute sounds intriguing! I utterly loved that book as a teenager. –willaful

Keira Soleore
14 years ago

Mary Blayney–hi! And welcome to the Riskies.

Congratulations on three back-to-back releases in two genres. That’s very impressive. And a single title double debut! Lucky for us fans.

Is your entire series going to be doubles? Or would they be more back-to-back singles or ??

Sync me, ’tis that demmed fellow again. Hooray, I say!!!!!

A naked woman in winter?! My eyes, my eyes.

We-ll… Gabriel and Michael, archangels both them (coincidence?), sound delicious, er, verrrry interesting.

Oh, how lovely to have your friend Diane as the impetus for the story.

Keira Soleore
14 years ago

Many congratulations for making #2 on the NYT list.

Evangeline
14 years ago

I’ve been waiting for this new series since it was announced. It’s great that we get two stories in one; I hope more publishers do this.

robynl
14 years ago

TRAITOR’S KISS/LOVER’S KISS sounds like a must read; it would be fun to find out about a woman rescuing a man.

Deborah
Deborah
14 years ago

Hi Mary! Congratulations on your latest releases! I love Regencies! I can’t wait to read yours!

Pan Zareta
Pan Zareta
14 years ago

Congrats on the new releases! Your series sounds wonderful!

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