Tag Archives: q and a

Q and A with Sara Rider

Sara Rider came to my attention with her awesome book Going for the Goal.  I am so fortuante that she answered all the questions I had while reading the book!  If you are a fan of hockey/sports themed contemporary romance novels, you must check out her books!



Sara Rider writes contemporary romances full of heart and heat about strong heroines and the men who can’t resist them.

Growing up, Sara Rider dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player. When that dream was squashed by her extreme dislike of running, she decided to do the next best thing: write about professional soccer players. By day, Sara spends her time working in the field of research ethics and daydreams about plotlines and character arcs. She spends far too much time at public libraries and never leaves the house without a paperback or an e-reader stuffed into her purse. For the Win is her first novel.

Check out her website here…

Going for the Goal



Book 3 in The Perfect Play Series available February 2017 from Pocket Star.

In this perfect book for romance and sports fans, professional sports agent Jillian Nichols knows how to play the game to get what she wants. But admitting to what she needs has always been a challenge. Will she ever let her guard down long enough to let someone in? Or will the bad boy hockey player Nick “the Punisher” Salinger have to fight harder than ever for a chance to win her heart?

Q and A


  • Was there a particular hockey player you based Nick on?


Nick wasn’t specifically based on any single hockey player, but I did draw a lot of inspiration from John Scott since I started writing this book right around the time of the NHL All Star controversy. For those not familiar, John Scott is a 6’8 enforcer who had a solid but unremarkable career in the NHL. For some reason, he became a joke candidate for the Fan Favourite pick for the NHL All Star game, and ended up winning the slot. The NHL pushed back hard, calling him an embarrassment and urging him to step down, but he decided to play anyway and ended up scoring two goals, proving he actually did belong in the game after all. He was traded right afterward in what many believe to be a revenge move, and sent down to the minors, effectively ending his career.

Jared Boll, John Scott

On the surface, it would have been easy to dismiss Scott as a goon, but he wrote an article about the experience that really stuck with me. The articled talk about how he stumbled into the enforcer role despite never expecting to make it in the NHL at all, and how he decided to play in the All Star game to make his daughters proud. I had initially conceived of Nick as a hotshot superstar with a bit of a temper problem, but after reading Scott’s story, I ended up changing his character to be someone who has a deep sense of loyalty and a lot of unexpected layers. Once I added in his brother, Ben, to the mix, Nick’s character developed really organically from that point.


  • Which team do you cheer for?


The Winnipeg Jets, though I will support the Vancouver Canucks when they aren’t playing against my hometown team.


  • The book Going for the Goal is full of really interesting information about the process of sports agents and contract negotiations. What research did you do?


Much more research than I anticipated! I read a lot of legislation and policy documents to understand the scope of practice for sports agents, and supplemented that with blogs by sports agents who talked about the dark side of the profession. I was fascinated by the fact that there are some agents out there who engage in practices so much sketchier and more immoral than anything I could have dreamed up.

There are a lot of small, true facts thrown into the book, like the fact that anyone in New York can pay $100 and call themselves a sports agent, but there were a few things I made up for the sake of the plot, like the New York Association of Sports Agents, which doesn’t actually exist. Also, while there are a lot of agents who represent athletes from a big variety of sports, most agents involved in the NHL tend to stick to hockey exclusively.  


  • What interested you in writing sports themed contemporary romance novels?


I’ve always been fascinated by the challenges faced by women in the world of professional sports—the financial hardship, the sexism, the constant need to prove themselves. Focusing on the less glamorous side of sports lets me write about determined, passionate women who are willing to fight for their dreams in spite of the obstacles and sacrifices. I also love the inherently high stakes of professional sports. The goals and desires of the individual characters are often bound up with the hopes and dreams of so many other people, like their fans and teammates. But most of all, as someone who has always loved playing sports but didn’t quite have the talent to make something of it, writing these books is a form of wish fulfillment.


  • What’s next?


I’m not sure. My contract for the Perfect Play series was only for three books, so I’m working on some new ideas that will hopefully get picked up.

Check out the book here with links to all sites to purchase!


Highland Spy: Q and A

Highland Spy by Madeline Martin is coming out very soon!  I posted a review of the new book and series today!  I have really enjoyed Madeline’s writing and when I had the chance to ask her a few questions, I jumped at the opportunity.


Her website is here – it’s full of beautiful images from her book covers.

Here is a bio from her website:

Hi, I’m Madeline Martin, a USA Today bestselling author of Scottish set historical romance novels. I live in sunny Florida with Mr. Awesome (a man who truly deserves such a great name) and two wonderfully magical girls, known collectively as ‘the minions’.
I enjoy working out (really to support my love of Nutella and wine), traveling, and doing fun kid-like things with the minions.  In addition to working full time, writing, mothering and keeping everyone in the house alive, I also support a FB addiction where you can not only read about all our crazy daily antics (and see how addicted I really am to cat memes and videos), but you also might have an opportunity to win a free book from another author during my weekly Free Book Friday giveaway.


So Madeline gamely answered my questions that I sent her over the holidays – even while hosting family and suffering from a cold!

1.     How did you come up with the idea of female spies?  What was the inspiration?
When I wrote my debut release, Deception of a Highlander, I found I really enjoyed having a heroine who played a spy. It was dangerous, edgy and fun. I even took Krav Maga when writing it so I could have a better understanding of the fight scenes (that was a blast!). After I released that book, I had ideas in place already for the following books, but knew I had to do a whole series on female spies.
I did a lot of research on spies in history and slowly but surely pieced together the idea for the Mercenary Maidens. It was really fun taking modern day spy applications and putting them in a historical context. Like lock picks and color contacts to change eye color, etc. It really put my creativity to the test and I loved it!
2.  I follow you on Facebook and saw that you went to Scotland this past year.  What inspired you when you were there?  What should a tourist not miss?
            Oh wow – it was such an incredible trip. All of it was so inspiring, even just breathing in the air and walking through that gorgeous scenery. We were really fortunate to have sunshine almost every day we were there and it lit up Scotland in such a beautiful way, it made everything feel like we were walking through a calendar.
            In addition to the scenery, there was the folklore. I think every town, every pub, every home has its own legend associated with it. I have to say one of my favorite stops (and a definite recommendation to anyone planning a trip to Scotland) was the private tour of Castle Stalker. It’s near Oban and is privately owned, but the man who owns it will ferry you in on a small boat and take you through everything. He’s a natural born story teller and shares all kinds of wonderful tales while taking you on a personal tour through the home he rebuilt with his father. It was truly a memorable experience.
3.  What is your writing routine?  You have a busy life with work, two adorable minions and marathons, how do you find time to write?
LOL I definitely do stay busy J I have a really strict schedule I stick to. I usually wake up around 430 for an hour or so before I have to get the kids up for school and prep for work. I’m what I like to call a ‘time scraper’ and I try to make something whole out of all the pieces of time I can rummage together. That said, I go to the gym on my lunch break, then when I get home (if it isn’t a Girl Scouts night with the minions) we set to doing homework while I make dinner. No matter how busy we are, I always love to have dinner at the table as a family with no electronics or TV or other distractions. That’s very important to me. After that, it’s bed time for them and I have a chance to catch up on social media and e-mail.
            It’s a busy life, but it’s a full life and I absolutely love it. I feel very fortunate to be able to fulfill my dreams despite my tight schedule.  
4.  Wishes for 2017?  2016 was pretty crappy, so what do you hope to see in this new year?
            I confess the latter part of 2016 was a little stressful and I did sacrifice some of my healthier habits in 2016 that I’ll be picking back up again in 2017. I’m putting a strong focus on my health, which is always a worthy investment.
            Regarding book news, I have so many exciting things in store! I’m going to be part of three different anthologies, all releasing in 2017. I’m also very excited to announce I’ll be one of the authors of the Historical Romance Retreat in Spokane, WA (http://www.historicalromanceretreat.com). And I’ll officially begin writing my next series, the Jacobite Jezebels.
5.  What is next for the Mercenary Maidens Series?  When will the next book be released and who will be the heroine?
            The second book of the Mercenary Maidens will be Highland Ruse. There is no date for that one as yet, but that book will be Delilah’s story. That will then be followed by Highland Wrath, which will be Sylvi’s story. Neither have release dates as I’m aware of as yet. I actually just sent out Highland Wrath to beta readers for feedback! It’s so exciting to have this series starting to release and hope everyone enjoys it as much as I have.
Thank you Madeline!
You can get Highland Spy on Amazon Barnes and Noble Kobo
Read my previous reviews of Madeline’s books here:

Q and A with Victoria Roberts

I came across a book on Netgalley that I desperately wanted to read.  The title of the book is Kilts and Daggers.  It’s probably not hard to figure out why I wanted to read it!

Not only was I fortunate enough to get an ARC copy of the book to read and review, I was able to get to do a Q & A with the author Victoria Roberts!

Victoria Roberts' KILTS AND DAGGERS

Kilts and Daggers

By Victoria Roberts

My Highland Spy, Book 2

Sourcebooks Casablanca

Scottish Historical Romance

ISBN: 9781402292033

May 5, 2015

$7.99 Mass Market Paperback

About the Book

“This book begs to be read and reread.”—RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 stars on My Highland Spy

Ever since Lady Grace Walsingham discovered her uncle and sister are spies for the Crown, she has yearned for adventure. She’s counting the days until she can leave barbaric Scotland behind, even if she must endure Highland captain Fagan Murray’s company for weeks.

Fagan has a simple mission: escort the haughty Lady Grace back to England. But nothing is ever easy. The sharp-tongued woman needles him at every turn. But when a menacing threat follows them on their journey, Fagan’s grudging tolerance for Grace turns to respect…and into a perilous attraction that could seal their fate.

More praise for My Highland Spy:

“Beautiful! This book has it all.”—Night Owl Reviews, 4.5 Stars, Reviewer Top Pick

“One of the best… an outstanding Scottish romance.”—Romance Reviews, 5 Stars

“An exciting Highland tale of intrigue, betrayal, and love with a braw Highland hero and strong English heroine any reader will love.”—Hannah Howell, New York Times bestselling author of Highland Master


Highland Spies series:

My Highland Spy (Book 1)

Kilts and Daggers (Book 2)

Plaids and Petticoats (Book 3)

I published my review to the blog a couple of weeks ago.  Check out why you should read this book here.  After I read the book, it was really easy to come up with some questions for Victoria!  Check out the Q & A!

  1. What research did you do to understand the Highland culture and hierarchy?


Thank you so much for having me today. I love the name of your blog.

All my novels thus far have taken place during the realm of King James I of England, early 1600s. I couldn’t even begin to guess how many hours I’ve spent poring over books, the internet, talking to clans and learning Gaelic. And I’m not done. This is an ongoing process. There is so much to learn and discover.


  1. Grace seemed lost at times in the story (not sure about her engagement, wanting to be a spy, hating the highlands), what was it like to write her character?


I love Grace. She’s spirited. I enjoy writing characters who don’t even know they’re a danger to themselves. Grace believed marrying another member of the aristocracy was what she was “supposed” to do in life, but she surprised herself when she decided she wanted to be a spy. In a way, she’s very naïve in the ways of the world. Being headstrong doesn’t help matters. Grace is lost at times, especially when she starts to develop feelings toward a man who’s her sworn enemy. She must decide if she’s going to follow her heart or adhere to the rules of society. That’s a tough decision for her and gets her into a lot of trouble along the way. There were endless possibilities when I was writing Grace’s character because she had such a dynamic personality.

  1. You write alpha males very well, what inspiration did you draw on for the character Fagan?


Thank you so much.

Very rarely do I use one subject for inspiration. Fagan’s qualities were a mixture of several men from my own personal heroes, book, movie, TV characters, etc.

  1. What is your writing process?  Go with the flow or a tight outline?

I never outline. Before I begin a manuscript, I know the first and last sentence and have a high-level idea of the story. That’s it, and then I go! Most of the time my muse cooperates and I just let her go wherever she wants to lead me.

  1. The cover of the book is so beautiful!  Can you describe the process to create a beautiful image that captures the heart of the story?


I have indeed been blessed by the cover gods for this series. Jon Paul Ferrara has done the artwork for My Highland Spy and Kilts and Daggers.

The cover process is that my publisher asks me for settings, timeframes and character descriptions for the book. If I have any ideas in mind for the cover, I let them know that too. That information is relayed to a cover artist. Fortunately for me, that person was the amazing Jon Paul. I’m completely out of the loop until the product is created, and then I’m presented with the cover and asked, “What do you think?” I’ve never once dreaded one of my covers. *smiles*

Excerpt from KILTS AND DAGGERS by Victoria Roberts

“Mister Murray, I don’t feel at ease discussing these subjects with you.”

“Then call me Fagan. Mister Murray was my father’s name anyway.”

Grace looked around and then softened her voice. “Now is that truly appropriate?”

“I told ye before. Ye’re a long way from England, lass. Lest ye forget, ye’re in the Highlands now. We do things differently here.”

She lifted a brow. “How could I forget?”

“Ruairi said ye’ll be staying with us for a few weeks. More to the point, I already call Ruairi’s wife Ravenna.” He turned up his smile a notch. “Ye and I are practically like family. Ye will call me Fagan, and I will call ye Grace, or I could always call ye bhana-phrionnsa. I’ll be kind enough to give ye a choice.”

“Ravenna may permit you to call her by her Christian name, but I certainly do not, Mister Murray. Although you do make me laugh, I’m afraid you and I are far from family.”


When Grace’s eyes smoldered, Fagan knew he shouldn’t get too close to the flame for fear of getting burned. There was still enough time to take his leave. Otherwise, he’d be verbally sparring with a lass in the middle of the great hall. Ruairi would no doubt have his head for causing mischief with his kin so soon after the wedding.

Fagan slapped both hands on the table and casually stood. Instinctively, he took another step back in case the lass suddenly had a strong urge to reach across the table and throttle him—or worse. Nevertheless, once she heard what he was about to say, the table wouldn’t provide enough space between them.

“Verra well then. I think bhana-phrionnsa suits ye quite nicely.” When Grace’s cheeks turned scarlet, Fagan smiled. “Donna say I didnae warn ye. Remember I did give ye a choice.” He winked at her and then turned on his heel.


He had a hard time trying to mask his smile. He turned around slowly and lifted a brow. “Aye?”

Grace flew to her feet, walked around the table, and closed the distance between them. She lifted her head, and by the way she was unsteady on her feet, he swore the daft lass was standing on the tips of her toes in a futile attempt to look him level in the eye.

“England and Scotland have been warring for centuries, Mister Murray, yet somehow Scotland has never won.” Lifting her skirts, she brushed his arm with her shoulder and took a few steps away from him.

That was until he called after her and stopped her dead in her tracks. “Cuine a chì mi a-ris thu, Grace?” When will I see you again? He made certain he said the words as though he spoke to his lover, which obviously had the desired effect because her whole body stiffened, and then she left him without a backward glance. Fagan’s mood was suddenly buoyant. He wasn’t exactly sure why he loved to unnerve Princess Grace, but he had one hell of a time doing it.

Buy the Book


Amazon | Apple | B&N | BAM | !ndigo | IndieBound | Kobo



Amazon | Apple | B&N | BAM | !ndigo | IndieBound

About the Author

Victoria Roberts writes sexy, award-winning Scottish historical romances about kilted heroes and warriors from the past. Prior to ever picking up a single romance novel, she penned her first young adult novella at 16 years old. Who knew her leather-studded motorcycle hero would trade in his ride and emerge as a kilt wearing Highlander wielding a broadsword? Victoria lives with her husband and their two beautiful children in western Pennsylvania.

Connect with Victoria Roberts

Website – www.VictoriaRobertsAuthor.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/victoria.roberts.395

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5763317.Victoria_Roberts

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Open April 27 – June 1

Giveaway for 3 copies of MY HIGHLAND SPY by Victoria Roberts



Deception Of A Highlander

deception of a highlander

Deception of a Highland by Madeline Martin

Overview by Amazon:

Scottish Romance doesn’t get much steamier—or more dangerous—than a spy hunting her quarry, and losing her heart to him instead.

To pay a seemingly impossible debt, Mariel Brandon has become a spy for Aaron, one of England’s deadliest minds. Aaron’s latest mission for the sharp-witted and daring Mariel is to find two people in a heavily fortified castle on the Isle of Skye, a castle headed by the clan MacDonald and the powerful Kieran. Mariel is to seduce Kieran and get him to take her to Skye. If she succeeds, Aaron promises to let Mariel’s young brother go, and to free both of them from their debt. If she fails, her brother will die.

What she doesn’t count on is craving Kieran MacDonald almost immediately upon meeting him. Now Mariel must keep a secret from Kieran—one that could get them both killed—as she tries to form a plan that will save her brother, get her out from under Aaron’s thumb once and for all, and keep her in Kieran’s strong arms forever.

After gorging on Outlander TV show, I was really in the mood for a book with a Highlander hottie. Well, I certainly picked a winner to read. This is the first book by Madeline Martin and after blasting through this story, I have very high expectations of her career.

This book has an amazing plot line with so much depth in the adventure. Mariel (isn’t that such a pretty name?) is not the typical courtier. She is a spy for a ruthless handler named Aaron. But Aaron isn’t working for the crown; he is working for who has the highest pay. He has kidnapped her precious brother Jack and is forcing Mariel to work for him to work off the debt she owes him. Mostly the work involves drugging unsuspecting Lords and wheedling her charms to get the information Aaron requires. He gives her one last mission and then promises her freedom. This time the mission is more dangerous than ever. She must infiltrate a Highland Laird’s home, find two people and then kill the Laird.

Mariel has been extensively trained by Aaron. She possesses crazy ninja skills and is lethal, although she balks at killing. She’d rather rely on her wiles and intelligence. Meeting Laird Kieran MacDonald is life changing for Mariel. She is taken with the broad shouldered warrior. He is interested in her, but not enough to take her up on her request to relocate to the Highlands. She wears him down and the adventure starts. Mariel shows herself to be a fascinating character. The life she has lived is tragic and yet at the same time, she has the most remarkable strength. She wants Kieran even though the guilt of her mission is crippling. She must prove herself to him and the clan. Regardless of her intentions, Mariel is honest in her actions and thoughts. She wants Kieran more than she has ever wanted anything besides Jack’s wellbeing.

Kieran is the perfect Highlander Laird. Strong, forceful and smart are attributes that only begin to describe him. He is naturally cautious around strange English folk and the clawing desire he feels for Mariel only make it worse. He wants to trust her, he wants her underneath him and he wants her in his life. I just love a Highlander who is a fierce warrior and yet so gentle with women. Kieran’s protective instincts make him an excellent lover. He begins to unravel Mariel’s story and his heart breaks at the horror she has lived through. When her guard is down, he can see the troubles in her soul. As hard as he tries, he just can’t stay away from her.

The heat between the two leapt off the pages. I’d use the word ‘cock tease’ but Mariel wasn’t teasing. At first she offered him her body as a method of getting her way, but as they spent time together, it was the truth. The kisses and banter between the two is so hot. When Mariel seeks to make Kieran jealous, I seriously fist pumped when he swooped in and claimed her. What on earth is so hot about a Highlander claiming his woman? I pride myself on being a feminist, but man, there is something so compelling about a man going for what he wants. They are sensual with each other as well as sexual. They talk, they bathe and they care about each other. There is real intimacy between the two – sometimes the walls that are built up crumble and leave them bared. Not to spoil anything, but the sex between the two has a surprising start and because of this it creates a bond that is crucial to the relationship.

The plot moves swiftly. Mariel has
a time frame to find the two missing people and kill the Laird, or as she sees it, come up with a new plan that allows Kieran to live. What pulled me in was the sense of dread I had while reading. I was so happy that Kieran and Mariel were advancing their relationship, but so tense because I knew the deception that weighed on her shoulders every minute of every day. How would she deal with it? How would Kieran discover her true intentions? What would become of all of those involved in the intrigue?

This was a great book. It has that special element that makes for a fantastic read. As the reader, I was sucked in with my emotions fully engaged. The book was so well researched and accurate to the time – the setting, the clothes, the food – it all set the stage for a wonderful romantic story. Mariel is an unexpected heroine and Kieran is the Highlander every reader dreams about. Madeline Martin has managed to capture all the components that make a fantastic story – love, action, adventure and passion.

Meet Madeline Martin!



Hi, I’m Madeline Martin. I write Scottish set historical romance novels and am represented by the fabulous Laura Bradford of the Bradford Literary Agency.

I am the mother of two young daughters known collectively as ‘the minions’. OldestMinion is an aspiring author at the tender age of 8 and YoungestMinion has made it her goal in life to add sass to the world. In addition to the minions, I have two cats: LapCat who has a shoe fetish and an penchant for world domination and SketchyCat who likes to stare at walls and eat fuzz.

I am a huge history fan with a deep burning curiosity for how people lived way back in the day and enjoy digging into the hows and whys. And you, dear blog reader, will be subjected to my findings. >insert evil cackle here<

MadelineAvaMudRunIn addition to working full time, writing, mothering and keeping all the pets fed, I also manage to (barely) keep a garden alive, support a Twitter addiction, hang out with incredible friends and engage in workouts that keep my life exciting. My accomplishments include a 50 mile mountain bike ride (with scars to prove it), my third year running doing the local 10k Mud Run to support MS research a year learning Krav Maga.MadelineBiking

I can be found on several social networking sites such as Twitter (@MadelineMMartin) and Facebook ( http://on.fb.me/1ByLMIy )- so come check me out!  :) I can be contacted at madelinemartin@ymail.com


Madeline agreed to do a Q & A about her upcoming release!

1.This is your first book. Did you plan out the whole story or did it evolve as you wrote?
This particular story did a lot of evolving for two reasons.
    The first being that I wrote this during the height of learning the craft of writing. I’d written two books before joining the RWA. After I joined and got a critique partner, I realized I, uh, kinda sucked. So, I did online classes and studied and did workshops and conferences and retreats. This book is the byproduct of having done all that work. But the lessons will always continue because there is always so much more to learn.
    The second reason is that Mariel initially started off as a coldblooded assassin. My first contest entry came back with a comment from a judge basically saying “Um…she’s not really an assassin, is she?” After taking a Donna MacMeans workshop on rooting interests, the understanding finally smacked me in the head and I drew Mariel back and softened her up to a character I really adored.
2. Who was your inspiration for the lead characters Mariel and Kieran?
I didn’t necessarily have people who inspired me to write Mariel and Kieran, but more ideas of what I wanted them to be. I wanted my heroine to have endured a hard life and emerge tough from it, like a powerful phoenix flaring up through cold, settled ash. For the hero, I wanted an alpha male with a beta’s heart. Kieran is decisive, sure and protective, but he also has a lot of internal softness he keeps guarded. What can I say, I just think that’s sexy. 🙂 For them both, I wanted two broken souls who came together as a beautiful whole.
3. What research did you need to do to write the story?
To research this book, I curled up in many a Wiki-hole, read many a book and was lucky enough to travel to Scotland for on site research. I went from Edinburgh to Skye with a notebook and a ready pen. I recorded notes about historical homes, castle construction, climate, food, culture, yes, I was THAT person after the tours ended that kept the poor guide there too long with too many questions. Bless their hearts, they were always so kind and helpful. I even got to go to the ruins of Caisteal Camus (Kieran’s castle on Skye) and Edzell Castle (where my second book, Possession of a Highlander, takes place). I spent that entire flight back home writing furiously, filling in all the details I’d missed.
4. Describe the process creating the beautiful cover.
Thank you so much for the compliment on my cover. I absolutely adore it. I’m so fortunate to have Diversion Books as my publisher. They paid attention to the details I’d asked for and incorporated their own interpretation to arrive at this result. I really could not be happier. I’m anticipating the cover for Possession of a Highlander in the next couple of weeks and am so eager to see how they dress up Colin’s story.
5. What books and authors inspired you to write historical romance fiction?
While on maternity leave with OldestMinion, I discovered Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series and I was hooked on Highlanders. After I burned through everything she’d written, I found my two other favorite authors: Margaret Mallory and Monica McCarty. I adore them all for their own incredibly unique writing and can so easily lose myself in any book they write.
The book is available for pre-order.  You can get it here.


Q and A with Jessica Peterson! Plus a giveaway!

jessica peterson

Jessica Peterson is the author of The Millionaire Rogue, among other amazing titles. This book will be published in exactly one month. I totally loved the story and found it to be such a great book to read. You can read my full review here.

the millionaire rogue

Not only is Jessica a fantastic author, she is generous with her time. She has agreed to do a Q and A for the blog to share her thoughts on creating The Millionaire Rogue. On top of that, she has also agreed to a giveaway of some awesome swag. A copy of the amazing The Millionaire Rogue and perhaps a trinket or two. To enter, head to Facebook, like the Kiltsandswords page and answer the following question:

“What colour is the Hope diamond?” (Open to Canada and the US only, sorry to other countries)

So I know you haven’t read the book yet…but it was amazing and I was full of questions afterwards about this story and how Jessica developed such an enticing read. I sent her the questions and she was kind enough to send me the following replies.

You can order the book here:
Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Millionaire-Rogue-Hope-Diamond-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00KWG9MVK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1418007079&sr=8-1&keywords=the+millionaire+rogue
Indigo http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/the-millionaire-rogue/9780425272084-item.html?ikwid=the+millionaire+rogue&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0
Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-millionaire-rogue-jessica-peterson/1119671312?ean=9780425272084

1. What research did you have to do on the Hope diamond?

I did quite a bit of research, especially into the Hope Diamond’s (then the French Blue) past, before it appeared, mysteriously, in London sometime in 1812. I wanted to incorporate its fascinating – and sometimes sordid – story into my own. The jewel’s historical record is somewhat spotty prior to 1800, and as an author I was tempted to fill in the blanks on my own (using the facts I had), crafting a romance around the people and places involved with the stone and its history. No one knows who possessed the diamond, exactly, but Richard Kurin, in his excellent HOPE DIAMOND: THE LEGENDARY HISTORY OF A CURSED GEM, posits the Prince Regent’s long suffering wife, Caroline, may have owned it for a time during the Regency period. I loved the idea of incorporating Caroline into my story (I think it’s cool when my characters come into contact with real historical figures from the period), so that was fun to research – who Caroline was, how she might have come to own the French Blue, why she was such a divisive figure.

hope diamond

2. Sophia and Thomas are wonderful characters. What was your favourite scene to write with them?

Thank you! I had the best time writing this book – no book is ever easy to write, but I knew from the get go who Thomas and Sophia were, and their attraction was immediate, if quiet, and certainly intense. My favorite scenes to write are always the kissing scenes. There’s something super romantic about a really, really great kiss. The promise of more, the admission of attraction, the exploration of something new and frightening and exciting – I could write kissing scenes all day!

3. The secondary characters are amazing and enhance the plot. Who was your favourite to create?

One of the lessons I learned writing this series was the importance of character development. In this book especially, I really took the time to get to know each character, figure out who they were, what they wanted, what quirks and confusions they have. I think my favorite secondary character in MILLIONAIRE has to be the mysterious Mr. Lake. You’ll see him again as the tortured (if sassy) hero in book 3, THE UNDERCOVER SCOUNDREL (out next summer!). Writing the bromance scenes between Lake and Hope was so, so fun; how they teased each other, mercilessly, but quietly shared such a strong bond.

4. The love scenes are really well done and steamy. As an author, what is it like to write them?

I love writing kissing scenes the most – but the “love” scenes are my second favorite kind to write. It can definitely be awkward when you think about people you know reading them, but my favorite romances are the ones were the heat is super, super steamy, so I figured that’s what I should write! It’s fun, and I look forward to writing them as I’m working on a manuscript. They are actually pretty difficult to get right; I’m always trying to stick to beloved tropes while throwing in something new or unexpected. And of course, as Sarah MacLean famously said, “don’t put sex on the page unless it complicates things.” So there’s that – you’re using the scene to build tension between the hero and heroine. It’s tough, but when it comes together just right, it’s magic!

5. There are some laugh out loud moments in this book, such as the scenes with the Princess and the acrobats. Where did you get the ideas for this? And were you laughing as you wrote them?

You know, I don’t necessarily laugh as I write. I wrote this book last winter/spring, and turned it into my editor sometime in March. I didn’t read it again until it was time for revisions. By then it had been several months, so when I read it, I definitely laughed out loud at scenes I’d forgotten I’d written. You know you’re doing something right, when you’re cracking yourself up in the middle of a (very crowded) Starbucks. Like steamy sex in my books, and I like levity, too; life is serious enough, let’s lighten the mood in our books a bit!

And I have no clue where these ideas come from! My husband is a pretty funny guy, and so are my brother and sister; I think I take a lot of comedic inspiration from them.

I hope you have enjoyed learning more about the writing process from such an accomplished author.

To follow Jessica, check out her website here: http://jessicapeterson.com/