Maggie Robinson chat and contest

Maggie Robinson is one of the funniest and most delightful people I know and her books are terrific. She kindly sent me a copy of her latest which I devoured and loved–hot and funny with a kernel of sense and feeling. What more can you ask for? Here’s the official blurb for Master of Sin:

Maggie Robinson’s Courtesan Court series is historical romance at its most wickedly inventive and shamelessly sexy. In the fourth and final novel, an expert in the art of pleasure tries to reform himself but finds one woman impossible to resist.

Andrew Rossiter has used his gorgeous body and angelic face for all they’re worth—shocking the proper, seducing the willing, and pleasuring the wealthy. But with a young son depending on him for rescue, suddenly discretion is far more important than desire. He’ll have to quench his desires—fast. And he’ll have to find somewhere his scandalous reputation hasn’t yet reached…

Miss Gemma Peartree seems like a plain, virginal governess—or so she hopes. No matter how many sparks fly between them, she has too much to hide to catch Andrew’s eye. But with a stormy Scottish winter driving them together, it will be hard to keep her secrets. Especially when Andrew feels he has found the woman who can restore his soul—one kiss at a time…

Wow, Maggie, that is one seriously depraved-looking boy. I guess that’s because he is … Remind us where we first met him and Gemma and how they fit in with the other Courtesan Court characters.

Andrew Rossiter is introduced as a quasi-villain in Mistress by Marriage. He is the “bad man” from the heroine Caroline Christie’s past, but he does a good deed and then goes off to Italy, where he gets in a major spot of trouble. Gemma Peartree makes her first appearance in Master of Sin, though she lived on Jane Street when she was a girl.

Did you always intend that they should have their own book?

Honestly, if I’d known how insistent Andrew was going to be about becoming one of my heroes, I would have given him much less baggage. It was pretty tricky making his conversion to respectability convincing–he’d literally done and seen it all before he met his heroine. Andrew is extremely damaged, and the love of a good woman really isn’t quite enough.

The book has a very unusual setting. Tell us about it and about the research you did.

Oh, I immersed myself in wonderful YouTube clips of the Outer Hebrides with haunting Celtic music and read a great book called Sea Room. Ultimately I made up an island, and it became so real to me I wish I could visit it!

What’s your favorite scene?

I really love when a frazzled Andrew encounters Gemma for the first time. She doesn’t seem like she’s Andrew’s type at all, which makes her perfect for him, as he’s trying to reform.

Andrew was beginning to suspect Edward Christie had the last laugh after all, giving him just what he asked for. Andrew had wanted private, he’d wanted simple. He’d suggested the Western Isles himself, having had a romantic notion about them since he was a boy and read of Viking raids. He doubted any factor of Edward’s had actually seen the place—the purchase had been accomplished in too short a time. Someone had been sold a bill of goods. And Andrew now had to live with the consequences.

He tiptoed down the hallway as quietly as he ever had eluding a suspicious wife or husband, coming at last to the kitchen. A raggedy serving girl dressed in what appeared to be stray Tartans and tablecloths was bent over an empty fireplace, a pitiful pile of sticks on the hearth. At the sound of his footstep on the bare slate floor she turned and shrieked.

Some of Andrew’s childhood Gaelic had come back to him the further north he’d come. Immersion with the village women earlier had helped a bit. “Gabh mo leithsceal.” Excuse me.

“Does bloody anyone in this bloody place speak any bloody English?” the girl muttered.

She looked like a street urchin. Her brown hair was a nest, her pointed, unfashionably brown face was smudged and her brown skirts muddied. She was so very brown. Surely she couldn’t be—

“Miss Peartree?” Andrew asked, praying not.

The little wren’s mouth hung open like a baby bird waiting to be fed. Then she looked like she tasted the worm. “Oh, good lord. Mr. Rossiter?” She curtseyed, nearly tripping on twigs.

What’s your writing process?

Ha ha ha. Process? I don’t need no stinkin’ process. I get up very early every day with only the faintest idea of where I’m going, no matter what it says in the synopsis, and peck away until noontime. I try to write consecutively, but sometimes I get struck by inspiration and get ahead of myself. I tend to tinker and refine as I go, so that when I’m finished, I really am finished. I usually reread from beginning to end several times during the writing to make sure I haven’t lost any threads (and because my memory is shot, LOL) Revisions thus far have been mercifully light–I love my editor.

What’s next for you?

I have a new Brava trilogy debuting late this year, starting with Lord Gray’s List on November 27. The books are all loosely connected by a newspaper, The London List, which features ads and gossip–kind of like a Regency Craigslist and the National Enquirer combined. In fact, the working title was Lord Craig’s List, but the Kensington marketing department got a little nervous that prostitution and murder scandals might be an unwise association. 🙂 The other books are Captain Durant’s Countess and Lady Anne’s Lover, coming in 2013.

Thanks so much to the Riskies for having me here today! I have a signed HARDCOVER edition of Master of Sin for one commenter (no geographical restrictions–my post office loves me). And the fine print: you must include a “safe” version of your email e.g., riskies at yahoo dot com so we can contact you and/or plan to check back here on Monday when the winner will be announced. If we don’t hear back in a week, we’ll choose someone else.

Tell me, if you were stuck on a remote Scottish island in the middle of winter, what would you do to pass the time? Hero optional. 😉

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