Welcome back my good friend, Mary Blayney, who is here today to talk about her latest book, Courtesan’s Kiss, in bookstores NOW! I already have my copy on my Kindle and have started the book. This is a terrific story!

Mary is giving away a signed copy of Courtesan’s Kiss to one lucky commenter chosen at random.

With the fourth in the Pennistan series Blayney crafts a powerful story with an outspoken modern heroine … who wins readers’ hearts. All of Blayney’s characters leap from the pages into fully realized people you care about….the twists and depth of emotion turn something ordinary into the unforgettable.”
— Kathe Robin, RT Book Reviews

Welcome, Mary! We are delighted to have you back at Risky Regencies.Tell us about Courtesan’s Kiss and how it fits into the Pennistan family saga?
Literally, COURTESAN’S KISS fits into the sage as the fourth in the series with one to books still to go. But it brings the family on stage in a whole new way.
Being the second son (with two more after him) David Pennistan went off to sea at a young age. His ship sank in the Gulf of Mexico and for seven years he was presumed lost. It was an amazingly happy day when he showed up at Pennford, older but otherwise healthy.
He will not talk about his years away, but it is clear to everyone that his experience changed him. In LOVER’S KISS we first meet David as the estate manager for his brother, the duke. As the years pass, David’s ambition pushes him to leave home and work to further the family name and fortune by building a mill. He sees manufacturing as the key to wealth in the future and does his best to convince the duke to support his efforts and to base the Pennistan wealth in more than land.

And that brings us to the opening of COURTESAN’S KISS.

What inspired this story? Was it a character, a setting, a situation, a theme?
And where is the courtesan, you ask?

Yeah, Mary. Where is the courtesan?
Mia Castellano is giving serious thought to becoming a courtesan and she is definitely the inspiration for this story. An important secondary character in STRANGER’S KISS, Mia is now being shunned by the ton after her engagement ends. On her way to visit her guardian, at said guardian’s insistence, Mia is tired of people telling her what to do and how to do it.
We’re all about “risky” at Risky Regencies. What sort of creative risk did you take with Courtesan’s Kiss? Mia and David are as different as two people can be. I wasn’t sure that they would be attracted to each other at all and even if they were, would they have what it takes to make a life together? As I wrote I realized that the two of them were alike in one significant way and that made all things possible.

What interesting research did you come across when writing this book?
During research, I came across exactly the sort of mill that David wanted to build – the Quarry Bank Mill in Styal near Manchester. It is still in existence and operated by the largest water wheel in the world. It was built and originally owned by Samuel Greg and by 1832 it was the largest cotton spinning business in the UK.

Quarry Bank Mill remains an historical site in Manchester, not only because of the size of the water wheel, but also because Greg provided housing and educational opportunities for the young workers. It was great to find out that this concept was not just the brain child of a twenty-first century writer.

Also I had great fun researching “angling with a fly” what we call fly-fishing and was delighted to read classic book on the subject – THE COMPLETE ANGLER and give author Izaak Walton a mention in the book.

What’s next for you?
For Bantam I am working on the last book in the Pennistan series, Jessup’s story. ONE MORE KISS is the title. It takes place in Birmingham and the central theme is forgiveness and reconciliation. Jess meets Lydia Chernov, a widow, who is being threatened by her husband’s family. In the process of helping Lydia, they fall in love, but both have a view of family that must change before they can be happy together.

Before that comes out in 2011 I am one of five authors with a novella in a Berkley anthology entitled THE OTHER SIDE, out at the end of November, 2010. Maybe I can visit again then. . .

You bet you can, Mary!

And what Mary is not telling you is that the other four authors of the Berkley anthology are J.D. Robb, Patricia Gaffney, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Mary Kay McComas. I’ve had a peek at part of Mary’s story in this one and it is going to be wonderful!

Who doesn’t like a courtesan story? What makes courtesan stories so popular these days? Do you have any other questions for Mary? Here’s your chance.

Remember one lucky commenter will win a signed copy of Courtesan’s Kiss!