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Huzzah for Janet! DEDICATION just earned two more amazing reviews.

Four hearts from The Romance Reader:
“New author Janet Mullany delivers a solid first effort with a Regency that steps outside the normal boundaries, and to great effect. Dedication is a delightful, warm-hearted romance featuring a hero and heroine who are past the first blush of youth, and determined to regain their lost love. This one works.” Read the entire review

AND a commendation from Mrs. Giggles (a score of 90!)

“It’s sexy, it’s romantic, it has some tumultous emotional conflicts, and it has characters that are rough around the edges but remain real enough for me to root for. If you love stories that are not of the usual formulaic variety (spies, bluestockings, Daddy died and we’re all poor, et cetera), try to look past the generic cover of this book. When is this author’s next book coming out?” Read the entire review


Janet was brought up in England where she read Georgette Heyer when she should have been studying for some exams, didn’t read Jane Austen when she should have (for some more exams) but rediscovered her later in life, and didn’t want to be a novelist when she grew up. She has been an archaeologist, draftsperson, radio announcer, arts administrator, proofreader, and bookseller.
Learn more at

Praise for Dedication!

“I’d encourage every Regency fan (except perhaps for sensuality sticklers) to run out and get this book. It’s entertaining, thoughtful, and more than worth your time.” — Blythe Barnhill, for All About Romance Read the review

“This isn’t a fluffy book, but a deeply psychological love story. For me, this depth of character and plot was refreshing, and made the book a constant surprise.” — Cybil Solyn, for Rakehell Read the review

“One of the best Regencies I have read in years. Very highly recommended.” — DeborahAnne MacGillivray, for The Best Reviews Read the review


Q. How did you think of writing this particular book? Did it start with a character, a setting, or some other element?

The first scene–that of a man knocking at the door of a London house early in the morning– came into my head strongly enough that I was able to build the plot and characters from there. I don’t know why it works this way for me, but it does.

Q. How long did it take? Was this an easy or difficult book to write?

It was a much revised book, but it was always easy to write. It began first as a single-title regency set historical, and had a rather convoluted plot. Adam was a codebreaker for English intelligence, and Fabienne his major suspect as a spy. I had a near miss with an editor who suggested I drop the spy plot and make it more a comedy of manners, so I revised it and she rejected it via form letter (one of those character building moments). It was never was a comedy of manners, and it continued to bomb until it won the 2004 Royal Ascot Contest (sponsored by the Beau Monde) and Signet made me an offer for it later that year. I had to chop off 20k words, so the subplot almost disappeared, but at least almost all the sex stayed intact!

Q. Tell me more about your characters. What or who inspired them?

I’ve no idea where Fabienne and Adam came from. I think they were based on what I didn’t want to write about or read about. I was interested in characters who had had experience in life, including good relationships with other partners, friends, and family,and who had not been holding grudges or harboring revenge plans for decades. In other words, fairly complex and healthy people, who were mature enough to solve their own problems but were also human enough to make mistakes. So that’s how I ended up with a heroine in her late 30s and a hero in his early 40s, both widowed.

Q. Did you run across anything new and unusual while researching this book?

I did some research on Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun, a French portrait painter, and used that to create one of my minor characters, Elaine, although she’s from a much different background. I grew up in England, so I have the advantage of knowing what houses and the countryside look like, and how people speak. My mind is a vast repository of trivia, and it’s amazing that some of the stuff in there is useful. I also did some research on French emigres to England after the revolution. Basically I’m a sloppy researcher, and I can only hope my mistakes aren’t too embarrassing.

Q. What do you think is the greatest creative risk you’ve taken in this book? How do you feel about it?

When I was writing it I had no sense whatsoever that I was taking risks, although I did become accustomed to mutters (and shouts!) from CPs that I was breaking rules, editors wouldn’t like what I was doing, and/or I wasn’t writing a romance. I’m happy to say I didn’t let it faze me. In retrospect, I think my greatest risk is in having a hero who is older than the norm, uses reading glasses, and is an atheist, grandfather, and novelist.

Q. Is there something in the book you originally included but left out because you thought it was too controversial?

Well, originally I had the villain eaten by the hero’s pigs, which is a wonderful way to kill off someone, and I hope I can use that elsewhere! (Spoiler follows!) One of the few times I dropped something was the scene where Fabienne’s brother finds she’s pregnant. In the original, she had decided to abort the pregnancy, and he stops her. The reaction from my CPs was one of unanimous horror (to put it mildly). So as it is now, her maid (who would of course know her mistress’ cycle) picked up the abortifacient for Fabienne, and her brother prevents her from taking it. He’s concerned about her health and the honor of the family, not because he’s thinking of an unborn baby. I still think the original was stronger; women don’t always welcome an unplanned pregnancy with overwhelming joy, and Fabienne is in despair after she ended her relationship with Adam.

Q. Your book is very racy; how did you keep thoughts of your kid(s), parents, friends, and the local grocer from intruding when you were writing those scenes?

Oh, my God, who told you about me and the grocer? I really don’t find it that different from writing any other sort of scene. I don’t think about them then either, although I do find it alarming how much I reveal of myself through my writing generally. That’s why I very rarely let non-writers read my works in progress. You must bear in mind, too, that the characters tended to take over. I had no idea, for instance, on p. 79, what Adam was about to do to Fabienne on p. 80. Honest.

Q. What are you working on now?

I’m revising my regency chicklit (if you want to see what a regency chicklit is like, go to my website and check out my excerpts) and writing a new regency-set erotic romance novella. I’d love to do a sequel to Dedication, based on the relationship between Barbara (Adam’s daughter) and Ippolite (Fabienne’s brother) but given the condition of the market I don’t think there’s anywhere for it to go.

Thanks for interviewing me!

Now that I’ve finished reissuing my old “Three Disgraces” trilogy, I’m looking at the remaining two titles in my backlist. I’m pretty sure I want to reissue my novella “The Wedding Wager” which first appeared in the anthology HIS BLUSHING BRIDE, as it is. Although it’s different in style than my later books and may need a different cover to match, it should please readers who like sweet, traditional Regency novellas.

I’m not so sure about my first published Regency, LORD LANGDON’S KISS, which I recently glanced through. To put it as kindly as possible, I have improved a great deal as a writer since then! Some readers and reviewers loved it, but it garnered about 3 stars on the average (which is probably about right). One reviewer talked about the “increasing depth of characterization” in the book and now I understand what she meant. The first half or so could use some work.

The question I’m pondering now is whether to reissue the book at all. I don’t want readers who happen to read this title first to be put off trying my later books. If I do reissue it , should I try for a do-over?

This is the cool thing about reissues. I was tickled when Janet announced that a new edition of her debut Regency, DEDICATION, is coming out from LooseId. Not because the original wasn’t fantastic already, but because this time Janet says it will have “all the sex I really wanted to put in the first time around but which was just inferred”. What’s not to love?

What do you think about do-overs? Any books you would like to rework or see reworked?


P.S. Next Saturday, I’ll be interviewing Mallory Jackson, author of THE PENWYTH BRIDE, a haunting paranormal romance set in 18th century Cornwall. Visit and comment for the chance to win an e-copy!

I expect you’ve seen the story about the discovery of Claire Claremont’s less than fond reminiscences of Byron and Shelley (monsters of lying, meanness, cruelty and treachery) which has overshadowed another recent literary discovery regarding Georgette Heyer. Since we’re celebrating Georgette Heyer here with our Venetia readalong, what better place to discuss Miss Heyer, writer of a different sort of book. Apparently concerned that her Regencies and mysteries were not bringing in enough income, Miss Heyer turned her inventive pen to a less sophisticated sort of literature; the sort of badly bound book you could find on sale in sleazy bookstores in Soho in the 1950s.

Sadly, although she had the idea–non-stop action, frequent and vigorous pairings (or threesomes as the following excerpt demonstrates), Miss Heyer relied on the M-dash for words she was too much the gentlewoman to write out and her book was refused publication on the grounds that it might actually have to be copyedited, a rarity in this sort of fiction. Discouraged, Miss Heyer laid the manuscript aside.

But judge for yourself. Here’s an excerpt from that manuscript, tentatively titled These :

There was some slight commotion without; the next moment a footman flung open the library door, and the Duke came —.

—, —, and men went —. Léon had — —out of his chair, and had almost flung himself at Avon’s —, all etiquette and decorum forgotten.

“Monseigneur, Monseigneur!”

Over his —Avon met Davenant’s —.

“He is mad, of course. I beg you will calm yourself, my Léon.”

Léon gave his —a last kiss, and rose to his feet.

“Oh, Monseigneur, I have been —!”

“Now, I should never have suspected Mr Davenant of —to —,” remarked his Grace. “How are you, Hugh?” He strolled forward, and just touched Hugh’s outstretched —with his —. “Léon, signify your —at —me by —up the —.” He went to the —, and stood with his — to it, Hugh beside him.

“Have you had a pleasant —?” Hugh asked.

“A most instructive week. The —here are —. Allow me to point out to your notice, Léon, that an insignificant —lies under that —. It is never wise to disregard the —.”
Hugh looked at —.

“What may that mean?” he inquired.

“It is merely advice, my dear. I should have made an excellent —. My —is almost equal to Chesterfield’s.”

Hugh chuckled.

“Chesterfield’s —is marvellous.”

“A little —. Yes, Léon, what now?”

“Shall I — —, Monseigneur?”

“Mr Davenant has certainly — you well. No, Léon, you shall not — —. I trust he has — no —, Hugh?”

Léon cast Davenant an — —. There had been one or two slight — of — between them. Hugh — — him.

“His — has been admirable!” He ejaculated.

Happy April Fool’s Day, everyone! Have you noticed any good online or real life celebrations today?

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