Thank you Scarlett for being my guest for the next few days.
Please will you tell us a little bit about yourself? First off, thank you so much for allowing me to be your guest! I’ve been in love with romance novels ever since I stole a Kat Martin historical off my older sister’s shelf when I was 11. Now, I live with my hero and our adorable but occasionally evil puppy and have finally made my dream of being an author come true. My works include Wicked Dirty, Lady Clarissa’s Seduction, A Mad Passion, and Captain Grey’s Lady, all from Ellora’s Cave.
What is your favourite colour and why? My favourite colour is green. I’m an outdoor girl, so to me there is nothing more beautiful than bright nature green.
Do you often wear your favourite colour and when? I have to admit that I do wear green quite a bit. My eyes are green, and I am unabashedly aware of how vivid they look when paired with a green top.
What is your daily writing routine? I make it a goal to work on some form of writing every day, usually in the evening. I’m a night owl, and it’s so much easier for me to work late at night when I have fewer distractions. My puppy is extremely jealous of my relationship with my laptop, so I tend to wait until after his bed time to get work done.
What do you do to overcome writer’s block? I prefer to keep more than one project going at a time, and I’ve found it’s an easy way to get around writer’s block. Right now, I’m revising an old completed manuscript, writing a contemporary novella, and writing the full length sequel to my historical, A Mad Passion. If I’m stumped on one project, I simply work on another. That way, I’m always being productive.
Who has/is your biggest influence in your writing? That’s a great but tough question. I have so many influences it’s hard to choose just one. Anthony Trollope is a huge influence on me, especially when it comes to historical romance. I’m in love with his characters and a number of mine are inspired by his.
I notice you say you write across the genres. Is there one genre you haven’t tried yet that you’d like to? Another great question. I would love to write crime fiction even though I’d probably be dreadful at it.
Does your puppy ever feature in your stories? Of course! He is getting a cameo in the contemporary novella I’m writing at the moment. I have a feeling he will continue to pop up in the future as well.
What are your hobbies? I love reading, travelling, writing poetry, gardening, spending time with my man and puppy, making jewellery, and going to the beach. I also have a secret, embarrassing addiction to Bravo and Showtime. That's kinda not so secret now :-)
When writing are you a plotter or ‘pantser’? I’m a combination of the two. I like to plot a general idea with main points. From there, my process becomes a little more organic. I like to write and see where the characters take me. For me, it’s sort of like going on a road trip: I know where I’m headed, but the extra fun part is all the random stops I make along the way.
If a plotter, how do you go about outlining your novel? I typically begin by writing a query letter first and then writing a full synopsis. I absolutely hate writing the synopsis, so it’s nice to get it out of the way.
And how much time do you spend on the plotting stage? I would say about a day or two. After an idea hits me, I’m usually quite good at figuring out the main plot points and starting to write.
Does your end story differ much/vastly from your original outline? Definitely. Because I like to see where the flow of the story takes me, I end up with characters and subplots I didn’t foresee in the initial stages.
What leads your stories, plot, scene or characters? Characters lead my stories. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. To me, it seems natural that scene and plot are created by the characters.
If you could spend a week with one of your heroes, which one would it be, why, and where would you go with him? I think I would choose Edmond, who is the pirate hero in my latest historical release, Captain Grey’s Lady. What’s not to love about the sun, sea, and adventure? Besides, I need a vacation.
ROFL not sure pirates and vacations necessarily come together!
Do you cast your characters on people you know? I don’t specifically do that, but certain character traits and quirks of people I know have certainly found their way into my books.
If you could swap places with one of your heroines which one would you swap with, and why? I would swap with Cleo from A Mad Passion. The late Victorian time period is so fascinating and complex. Most of all, I’d love to wear her gowns!
What is your favourite fruit? I love raspberries.
What is your favourite vegetable? My favourite veggie is broccoli.
What is the best piece of writing related advice you’ve ever received? The best advice I’ve been given is to be persistent, not complacent, whether in terms of learning the craft or trying to get published. If you give up on yourself, so will everyone else.
In ten words or less, please will you describe your hero in A Mad Passion? Thornton is sexy, enigmatic, and passionate about his woman.
In ten words or less, please will you describe your heroine in A Mad Passion? Cleo is kind-hearted and witty, with excellent fashion sense.
Seven years ago, the Marquis of Thornton broke Cleo’s heart. He’s the last man she wants to see at the country house party she’s attending with her sisters. However, fate has a different plan when she finds Thornton standing before her, as devastatingly handsome as ever.
Thornton’s resolve is tempted by Cleo’s reappearance in his life. He’ll stop at nothing to have her back in his arms. Now a respected politician, he jeopardizes his career and reputation with each secret moment he spends with her.
A steamy interlude in a darkened chamber, the crackling tension of a shared Shakespeare scene before the rest of the house guests, and one too many secret kisses prove to Cleo and Thornton that despite their scarred hearts, their feelings for one another may never have changed. But neither is free to pursue the other. Cleo remains hopelessly trapped in a loveless marriage, and Thornton is on the cusp of making an advantageous match. Together they must battle against ruin and swirling scandal to discover if their mad passion is worth the price.
“You have changed little, Lady Scarbrough,” Thornton offered at last when they were well away from the others, en route to Wilton House’s imposing façade. “Lovely as ever.”
“You are remarkably civil, my lord,” she returned, not patient enough for a meaningless, pleasant exchange. She didn’t wish to cry friends with him. There was too much between them.
His jaw stiffened and she knew she’d finally irked him. “Did you think to find me otherwise?”
“Our last parting was an ugly one.” Perverse, perhaps, but she wanted to remind him, couldn’t bridle her tongue. She longed to grab handfuls of his fine coat and shake him. What right did he have to appear so smug, so handsome? To be so self-assured, refined, magnetic?
“I had forgotten.” Thornton’s tone, like the sky above them, remained light, nonchalant.
“Forgotten?” The nerve of the man! He had acted the part of lovelorn suitor well enough back then.
“It was, what, all of ten years past, no?”
“Seven,” she corrected in her haughtiest countess tone.
He smiled down at her as if he were a kindly uncle regarding a pitiable orphaned niece. “Remarkable memory, Lady Scarbrough.”
“One would think your memory too would recall such an occasion, even given your advanced age.”
“How so?” He sounded bored, deliberately overlooking her jibe at his age which was, if she were honest, only thirty to her five and twenty. “We never would have suited.” His gray eyes melted into hers, his grim mouth tipping upward in what would have been a grin on any other man. Thornton didn’t grin. He smoldered.
Drat her stays. Too tight, too tight. She couldn’t catch a breath. Did he mean to be cruel? Cleo knew a great deal about not suiting. She and Scarbrough had been at it nearly since the first night they’d spent as man and wife. He had crushed her, hurt her, grunted over her and gone to his mistress.
“Of course we wouldn’t suit,” she agreed. Still, inwardly she had to admit there had been many nights in her early marriage where she had lain awake, listening for Scarbrough’s footfalls, wondering if she hadn’t chosen a Sisyphean fate.
They entered Wilton House and began the lengthy tromp to its Tudor revival styled wing where many of the guests had been situated. Thornton placed a warm, disconcertingly large hand over hers. He gazed down at her with a solemn expression, some of the arrogance gone from his features. “I had not realized you would be in attendance, Lady Scarbrough.”
“Nor I you.” She decided to say, uncertain of what, if any, portent hid in his words. Was he suggesting he was not as immune as he pretended? She wished he had not insisted upon escorting her.
As they drew near the main hall, a great commotion arose. Previously invisible servants sprang forth, bustling with activity. A new guest had arrived and she recognized the strident voice calling out orders. Thornton’s hand stiffened over hers and his strides increased. She swore she overheard him mumble something like ‘not yet, damn it’, but couldn’t be sure. To test him, she stopped. Her heavy skirts swished front then back, pulling her so she swayed into him. Cleo cast him a sidelong glance. “My lord, I do believe your mother is about to grace us with her rarified presence.”
He growled, losing some of his polish like a candlestick too long overlooked by the rag. “Nonsense. We mustn’t tarry. You’ve the headache.” He punctuated his words with a sharp, insolent yank on her arm to get her moving.
She beamed. “I find it begins to dissipate.”
The dowager Marchioness of Thornton had a certain reputation. She was a lioness with an iron spine, an undeterred sense of her own importance and enough consequence to cut anyone she liked. Cleo knew the dowager despised her. She wouldn’t dare linger to incur her wrath were it not so painfully obvious the good woman’s own son was desperate to avoid her. And deuce it, she wanted to see Thornton squirm.
“Truly, I would not importune you by forcing you to wait in the hall amidst the chill air,” he said, quite stuffy now, no longer bothering to tug her but pulling her down the hall as if he were a mule and she his plow.
The shrill voice of her ladyship could be heard admonishing the staff for their posture. Thornton’s pace increased, directing them into the wrong wing. She was about to protest when the dowager began calling after him. It seemed the saint still feared his mother.
“Goddamn.” Without a moment of hesitation, he opened the nearest door, stepped inside and pulled her through with him.
Cleo let out a disgruntled “oof” as she sank into the confines of whatever chamber Thornton had chosen as their hiding place. The door clicked closed and darkness descended.
“Thornton,” trilled the marchioness, her voice growing closer.
“Your—” Cleo began speaking, but Thornton’s hand over her mouth muffled the remainder of her words. She inhaled, startled by the solid presence of his large body so close behind her. Her bustle crushed against him.
“Hush, please. I haven’t the patience for my mother today.”
He meant to avoid the dragon for the entire day? Did he really think it possible? She shifted, discomfited by his nearness. Goodness, the little room was stifling. Her stays pinched her again. Did he need to smell so divine?
“Argnnnthhwt,” she replied.
She needed air. The cramped quarters dizzied her. Certainly it wasn’t the proximity of her person to Thornton that played mayhem with her senses. Absolutely not. The ridiculous man simply had to take his hand from her mouth. Why, he was nearly cutting off her air. She could scarcely breathe.
Thornton didn’t seem likely to oblige her, so she resorted to tactics learned from growing up with a handful of sisters who were each more than a handful themselves. She decided not to play fair and licked his palm. It was a mistake, a terrible one and not just because it was unladylike but because he tasted salty and sweet. He tasted rather like something she might want to nibble. So she did the unpardonable. She licked him again.
“Christ.” To her mingled relief and dismay, he removed his hand. “Say a word and I’ll throttle you.”
Footsteps sounded in the hall just beyond the closed door. If Cleo had been tempted to end their ruse before, her sudden reaction to Thornton rattled her too much to do so now. She kept mum.
“Perhaps you are mistaken?” Thornton’s sister, Lady Bella ventured, sounding meek.
“Don’t be an idiot, Bella,” the dowager snapped. “I know my own son when I see him. All your novels are making you addlepated. How many times must I implore you to assert yourself at more improving endeavors like needlepoint? Women should not be burdened by knowledge. Our constitutions are too delicate.”
Cleo couldn’t quite stifle a snicker. The situation had all the elements of a comedy. All that yet remained was for the dowager to yank open the door so Cleo and Thornton would come tumbling out.
“You smell of lavender,” he muttered in her ear, an accusation.
So what if she did? It was a lovely, heady scent blended specifically for her. Lavender and rose geranium, to be precise. “Hold your breath,” she retorted, “if you find it so objectionable.”
“Then what is the problem, Thornton?”
“I find it delicious.”
* * *
A Mad Passion is available at:
Ellora's Cave: http://www.jasminejade.com/p-9102-a-mad-passion.aspx
B & N: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/A-Mad-Passion/Scarlett-Scott/e/9781419933172
~ ~ ~
How did you feel when you heard your latest novel Captain Grey’s Lady is releasing early? Initially, it was slated for release in June, so I was thrilled it got bumped up. I hate waiting, and the nice thing about e-publishers is that the turn-around time is amazingly quick. I love being able to have my finished product available as soon as possible.
When a dangerous-looking stranger raps on Lizzie Winstead’s door in the middle of a stormy night, the peace of her humdrum life is shattered. She’s shocked to discover her visitor is Captain Edmond Grey, one of the most feared pirates of the realm and her lost love.
Edmond is a wanted man throughout the Colonies, but despite his formidable reputation, he desperately needs her help to nurse his wounded brother back to health. Only Lizzie can be trusted not to turn Edmond over to authorities for the price on his head.
Lizzie can’t quell the feelings Edmond stirs in her heart or the fire he ignites in her blood. Before long, both succumb to the reckless desire renewed between them. She follows him aboard his pirate ship and sets sail into a world rife with passion and peril. Together they brave fierce battle and frightening storms, determined to discover whether the love they once shared is strong enough to reunite them forever and conquer the demons of Edmond’s past.
Captain Grey's Lady is available at :- http://www.jasminejade.com/p-9214-captain-greys-lady.aspx
For more information about Captain Grey's Lady visit Scarlett's website.
My website/blog: http://scarscoromance.blogspot.com You can also find Scarlett at: