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Tag Archives: Mary Blayney

First of all a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to the Riskies’ own Diane Gaston, the recipient of a Washington Romance Writers Award for her body of work. I have not read the citation that accompanied the award but expect she may share it eventually!

And now back to the regular schedule:

Series are my favorite thing to read AND write. They must be the single best way to develop a market for books. I wonder if the idea for series grew out of the way stories were serialized in the nineteenth century (you know, Dickens.) If anybody has an answer ton that question please leave a comment.

I have no doubt that series are a great way to develop a reader base because I love them as both reader and as a writer. Here’s why: because it lets you get to know characters better. And if I like the protagonists in a book there is nothing I want more than to know what happens next to them and in their world.

As a writer I like series for the same reason but from a different perspective. I know what happens to my characters after the story ends. One couple is not as happy as I would wish and in another the wife dies in childbirth and she haunts her husband until he finds someone else to love and also someone who will love their daughter. Nope, not gonna tell you what books they are because no romance reader I know wants to hear that the HEA is not quite perfect.

The Pennistan Series I wrote for Bantam (TRAITOR’S KISS is the first) is still in my mind, years after I have technically finished the series. It’s a series where family members appear in each others books and secondary characters find their own romance.

ONE_MORE_KISS_ResizedMy favorite scene is the final one in the final book (ONE MORE KISS) when the whole family gathers for Beatrice and Jess’s wedding. As the Duke, his brother says, “having Jess here makes us a family again. Having every one here for his wedding to Beatrice completes us.”

It was my chance to give readers a look at each couples life since marriage. Elena makes the Duke laugh more. Gabriel’s wife Lynette is still uncomfortable at the thought that her brother-in-law is a duke. Mia and David “make bickering seem romantic” and Olivia Garrett would rather be in the kitchen coming up with a recipe for salmon that will appeal to her almost sister-in-law, Beatrice.

And Michael Garrett, Olivia’s husband, has the time to talk to everyone who approaches him, and in the process learns more secrets than anyone else in the room. The fact he is the Vicar of the Church in Pennsford might have something do with why people are so willing to confide in him.

Michael and Oivia are the launch point for a new series I am starting as soon as I come home from vacation. The stories (I’m thinking 40K word novellas) will be set in Pennsford and each story grows from a secret a parishioner shares with Michael. He never betrays a confidence but we, as readers in his point of view, will see the story develop from the perspective of what he knows.

For sure you will hear how the stories progress right here.

So what do you like best about series as a reader and/or a writer?

I bought a new research book!

This is not exactly a surprise, because I often buy research books, sometimes because a Risky recommends them.

Coaching days coverI first saw this book for sale in an antique shop in Middleburg, Virginia. The cost, as I recall, was about $300 (but you can buy it for as little as $11.07). That was a bit too much, even for my research book obsession! This weekend, though, my friend (and book-pusher) Mary Blayney offered me her copy.

Actually she said, “Would you like a coffee table book? It is as big as a coffee table.” All I had to do was buy her dinner.

The book is Coaching Days of England (1966) by Anthony Burgess, and it is full of color and black and white prints from the 18th and 19th centuries.

You can get an idea of how big it is by the ruler I placed on the cover.

Here’s a peek at what I purchased!

Color Prints



North-Country Mails at the Peacock, Islington


The Duke of Beaufort Coach

I’m not the only one who loves this book. Somebody actually made a YouTube video about it.

Have you ever seen this book? Do you think it was worth the price of a dinner?

Check my website this week for my new book cover and a sneak peek!

Did you know there is Regency gold in J. D. Robb’s world? In the paranormal anthology Bump in the Night, Mary Blayney’s novella is just that!

It’s fitting that I talk about Poppy’s Coin right after Mother’s Day, because Lindsay, the hero of the story, is both “mother” and “father” to two orphaned children, dealing with such crises as a “pea up the nose” that can only resonate with any mom. He’s really terrific at it, too.

Lindsay, unfortunately, is nearly destitute and desperate to find some means of supporting his two children. A Waterloo hero, he pins all his hopes on selling his commission, not an easy task in peacetime. Then his daughter Poppy hands him a magic coin. He makes a wish for work that is satisfying and pays an impressive wage. Shortly thereafter, Lady Grace Anderson, a beautiful young widow, hires him to be her escort for the season. This scheme works very well for both of them–until love interferes.

I’m a great fan of Mary’s Regencies – Captain’s Mermaid, His Last Lover, His Heart’s Delight, The Pleasure of His Company, A Husband for Mama – all have delighted me. Her characters ring true as “real” people, with both flaws and strengths and their love stories always shine with a quiet gentle grace.

Mary does a particularly wonderful job writing children and I am certain you will be charmed by little Poppy. In a few delicate strokes of the pen, Mary is able to convey the magical hopes and internal anxieties of a little girl who has lost her mother and never knew her real father. I loved her! Her innocent belief in Poppy’s Coin starts a timeless run of good luck!

Enjoy all the stories in Bump in the Night, but prepare for gold in Poppy’s Coin.

(He should be reading Poppy’s Coin!)


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!

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