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Tag Archives: Maggie Robinson

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. 😉

I had the great privilege of meeting an online friend in real life this summer–the funny and talented Maggie Robinson, who is just as funny and smart in person. She pressed upon me an ARC of Mistress by Marriage, which I giggled over on the journey home and found was the next best thing to having a conversation with her. So I pressed her into an appearance at the Riskies to talk about her funny, touching, sexy book.

Maggie, welcome. Tell us how Mistress by Marriage came about.

Mistress by Marriage (Kensington Brava, September 2011) was a title first before I ever had a glimmer of an idea. All the Mistress books are Mistress by Something Starting With An M. I’d done Midnight. I’d done Mistake. What else starts with M? Mistress by Menopause just didn’t have the right cachet. When I came up with Marriage, I had a real “aha” moment. What would get a married couple to rekindle their dead romance? How could two totally opposite individuals reconcile and have their HEA? Caroline and Edward had huge obstacles to overcome, both internally and externally. (And of the three Mistress books, this is definitely my favorite.)

This is your third and final book in the Courtesan Court Trilogy. Was it sad for you to say goodbye to the series and your characters?

I feel like I live on Jane Street with all its naughty ladies, LOL. Both my novellas have been set there, too. Actually, my next book, Master of Sin (April 2012) is technically the last book in what Brava is calling the Courtesan Court series. The very unlikely hero Andrew Rossiter is introduced in Marriage, so I expect references to the neighborhood will pop up in the future.

I found both Caroline and Edward such adorable and annoying people. Do you find yourself basing characters, or at least some of their characteristics, on people you know?

You caught me out. Edward and Caroline share some traits with my husband and myself (although John is not quite as proper and uptight as Edward, he always tries to do the right and honorable thing). Caroline tries to make everyone happy around her and doesn’t feel she deserves her own happiness. As a mom of four, I can relate. However, I’m not a gorgeous redhead addicted to jewels, although diamonds are nice if they’re conflict-free.

Ha! I suspected as much. (Has your hubby read it?) Your heroine Caroline is a writer. Did you ever feel that you wanted to be sidetracked into writing her books?

While Caroline and I share an unfortunate addiction to alliteration, I think she’s way more gothic and lurid than I am. And I hope I’m a better writer. Anyone who writes “He advanced toward her, his green eyes glittering like evil glass” needs to go to writing rehab. I had such fun with her titles and blurbs at the beginning of each chapter, though, and was pleased when Publisher’s Weekly said “the most fun derives from the way Caroline skewers society in her novels, with quotes from the books presented at the top of each chapter like bonbons.”

Caroline also uses her books to very conveniently kill off her Edward-like characters. There may be no evil glass, but there is no end to the creativity of her evil mind as she buries the man in mining mishaps and tosses him off mountain tops.

What’s your favorite scene in the book?

I’m very partial to when Edward kidnaps Caroline and introduces her to his “list.” Poor guy.

Tell us about your research on divorce law.

Let me tell you, it was nigh on to impossible to end a marriage, and only a husband could sue his wife for divorce, no matter how awful he might be. Women had NO recourse to throw the bums out, and they had no rights to any children of the marriage. There were three stages—one had to prove infidelity and sue the wife’s paramour (the criminal conversation portion, or crim con), go through the ecclesiastical court and then get a Bill of Divorcement from Parliament. It was a rare, lengthy and expensive procedure. I can see why people remained married even if they hated each other.

You have a novella out this month too. Tell us about the anthology and your contribution.

To Match a Thief is part of Brava’s Improper Gentlemen with Diane Whiteside and Mia Marlowe. All the gentlemen are…improper. 😉 My characters Lucy and Simon are childhood lovers who have changed considerably from their very humble beginnings. They may have been separated for thirteen years, but the spark’s still there, even if Lucy is London’s most fabled courtesan. Or is she? The fun of the novella is that no one is quite who they seem, right down to the singer in Simon’s favorite opera.

What do you like to read for fun?

The Riskies’ books, of course! I’m devoted to nineteenth century-set historical romances, as well as the historical mysteries of Ashley Gardner, C.S. Harris and Deanna Raybourn.

What’s next for you?

As my edgier self Margaret Rowe, I have a story, Wicked Wedding Night, in the Berkley Heat anthology Agony/Ecstasy (December 2011). Three more Maggie Robinson books are contracted through 2013. The new London List series revolves around a Craigslist-like Regency newspaper operated by a very unusual editor. I can’t wait for readers to meet E. Ramsey.

Thanks so much to the Riskies for having me back today! I’m giving away both Improper Gentlemen AND Mistress by Marriage to one commenter who tells me how to kill off an estranged husband in a romance novel! Be as gory as you like. Caroline would approve.

No, we’re not talking ice cream…today we have one of my very favorite writers as a guest, in both of her manifestations, and with a fantastic prize. So let’s get chatting and exchange our metal folding table stories–I mean, our proposal or Valentine’s day stories… you’ll see what I mean. Read on!

Thanks so much to the Riskies for having me—both of me—back! I write under two names, Maggie Robinson and Margaret Rowe, and I’m between Maggie’s January book, Mistress by Midnight, and Margaret’s March release, Any Wicked Thing. While both books are hot historical romances, Margaret’s book is just a little scorchier. Or as I like to say in my house, Margaret writes about things that Maggie has never done. 😉

I do like to think, though, that I incorporate plenty of romance in my erotic fiction, and I love to give second chances to my heroes and heroines. As we all know—or at least Shakespeare said so and who am I to argue—“the course of true love never did run smooth.” That’s certainly true for Sebastian Goddard, the Duke of Roxbury and his childhood nemesis Frederica Wells in Any Wicked Thing. They could not have started off in a more humiliating fashion (really, I was absolutely evil making their first encounter a night to forget instead of remember), but somehow they manage after a decade to put the past behind them.

Their journey to The End is almost the opposite of Laurette and Con’s in Mistress by Midnight, who begin beautifully but are torn apart and have a whole lot of boulders to climb over as adults. But we must torture our characters, or the books we love would sputter out after the first chapter…or maybe even the prologue.

Some of my favorite books and movies incorporate the awkward and the angsty with the amorous. I think Lord Chesterfield had it right when he said: “Sex: the pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.” Human beings are so…human. We’re all searching for our happily ever after, one clumsy step at a time and sometimes travel in circuitous routes to get there.

It may be Valentine’s Day tomorrow, but sometimes love feels more like April Fools. One commenter today will get both Maggie and Margaret books AND a new DVD, Romantic Favorites Collection, with four fantastic, funny movies that illustrate exactly how beautiful and bittersweet relationships can be. Of the four films on this disc, Love Actually is probably my favorite, as it is a kaleidoscope of emotion. I’m sure you can guess that my favorite scene has earnest Colin Firth proposing in fractured Portuguese—it makes me laugh and cry at the same time, my own personal romance rule.

Do you have a proposal story or a Valentine’s memory? Tell us!

I’ll share mine. My boyfriend and I threw a party so his friends could meet my friends, and he casually announced to everyone, “Yeah, we’re getting married.” He never really asked, but I guess I answered, because we were married three months later. This is the same man who gave me a metal folding table for the basement so I could stack laundry as a Valentine’s present. He’d better come up with something a little better tomorrow.

Mistress by Mistake sizzles off the page. A marvelously sexy romp.
Anna Campbell

… sexy chemistry and wry humor … I really enjoy those books where the characters take real joy in their pleasure and this is one of them. It’s a steamy historical that I enjoyed re-reading for the sake of the review.
Dear Author

A great big Risky welcome to Maggie Robinson who’s here today to give us the inside scoop on her book Mistress by Mistake, Book I of the Courtesan Court Trilogy, and give away a signed copy. So please ask a question or make a comment to be entered into the drawing.

How did the idea for this book/series evolve?

Although it will be published first, Mistress by Mistake is actually the second book I wrote that takes place on Jane Street, AKA “Courtesan Court,” my fictional address for London’s most exclusive mistresses. In Mistress by Midnight (which comes out next January), I had my heroine reflect that there really should be some sort of Mistresses Union for bored courtesans waiting for their gentleman, and I realized I had a series. It was all entirely accidental and providential.

Tell us about your hero/heroine. Who would you cast if the book was a movie?

Charlotte Fallon is a straight-laced, lace-making spinster whose heart was broken once. Sir Michael Bayard is a straight-up rake whose heart was not only broken but stomped on, skewered and seared. They’re both wary with good reason, but of course they are absolutely right for each other and ripe to fall in love. Catherine Zeta Jones might make a good Charlie with blue contact lenses (and she’d have to gain some weight, too). Bay was inspired by the yummy nameless model for Lord and Taylor’s Black Brown ad.

(Did I get the right guy, Maggie?) What bit of this book do you love?

Oh, there are so many parts. People seem to love the raspberry fool scene. And there are not too many heroines who use such an unusual weapon to save the hero like Charlie does. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but Charlie is quite creative.

Which part gave you the most trouble?

I wasn’t certain if a man could be forced to engage in sex. Upon serious research, I was assured that they could.

Ahem. Moving on … What do you like about the Regency period?

The corsets, of course. Seriously, there’s war, royal hijinx, scientific and social advancements—there’s just so much for an author to mine.

What do you dislike about the Regency period?

The obvious disparity between the rich and the poor—but we still have that today. And I don’t think I could deal with the hygiene difficulties.

It seems there are lots of mistress-themed books on the shelves at the moment. What makes yours risky/pushes the envelope?

Well, to be honest I guess my women are more-or-less faux mistresses. Charlie is mistaken for her sister, Laurette is installed on Jane Street by the man who wants to marry her (Mistress by Midnight), and Caroline is unhappily married to the man who bought her her house after the requisite misunderstanding (Mistress by Marriage). I use the setting for two upcoming novellas too. I think my biggest risk is choosing to write about older heroes and heroines (yeah, like thirty to forty is old to me, but in the Regency you’re more than half-dead at that point. *g*)

What’s next for you?

I also write erotic historical romance as Margaret Rowe, and she has a debut of her own with Tempting Eden, which comes out in June. It’s kind of fun to be a double-debutante at my age. Thrilling, actually.


Anything else you’d like to be asked about?

Huge announcement! Mistress by Mistake has been selected by Kensington to be a free e-book download from May 3 through May 6. For the details, visit tomorrow. One commenter below will get a signed dead-tree book, too!

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