It is our great pleasure to welcome back to Book Lovers Inc. Maggie Robinson, author of the deliciously steamy historical romance Courtesan Court series. Maggie stops by BLI today to tell us all about her delicious new series, the first book of which, Lord Gray’s List just got released. So please give a warm welcome to Maggie and read on, you could even win a signed copy of Lord Gray’s List!
Stella: Hi Maggie, welcome back to Book Lovers Inc! You are here to celebrate the release of Lord Gray’s List, the first book in your brand new steamy historical romance series: the London List series, congratulations!
Maggie: Thank you so much for having me back!
Stella: Can you tell our readers a bit about what they can expect of this series? And for those readers who are fans of your Courtesan Court series tell if it is similar/different from that, and in what way?
Maggie: The London List is a Regency gossip sheet/craigslist, where you can pretty much find anything you want and want to know about. In the first book, the editor Evangeline Ramsey rediscovers her true love on the front page of the paper. In the second, Captain Durant’s Countess, Reyn Durant gets a job offer—and a woman—he can’t refuse. In the last book, Lady Anne’s Lover, an earl’s daughter pretends to be a housekeeper and lights her employers heart on fire…as well as burns down his kitchen. All three books have heat, heart and humor—not too different from the Courtesan Court books. Jane Street and her ladies even make a cameo in Lord Gray’s List.
Stella: Do you still remember what inspired the London List series? Was there a specific moment/event/place that sparked the idea for the story?
Maggie: I read two articles in the Huffington Post—one about old newspaper lonely hearts ads, and another on the blog Missed Connections. While the series veered away from the personals to the want ads, those articles were my inspiration.
Stella: Could you introduce Ben and Evie, the hero and heroine of Lord Gray’s List?
Maggie: Ben is a genial, gentle giant who’s tried to breeze through life, and really hasn’t quite grown up. This annoys Evie no end—she’s had to fight for everything she’s ever gotten. She inspires him to straighten up, and he loosens her up—perfect!
Stella: Evie is a very unorthodox heroine: not just because she parades as a man (wearing trousers and having cropped her hair), but mostly due to her temperant: she is a very stubborn and opinionated, not at all sweet and blushing heroine as most historical romances have, and even very different from your own previous heroine. How did she come to life and was it a challenge to capture her spirit on paper and not make her out to be a (too much) bickering bitter spinster? (Since she refers to herself as a spinster many times I didn’t think it offensive, as with today’s standards she isn’t old at all…)
Maggie: Evie thinks she knows what’s best for everyone…but not for herself. Her tough upbringing has made her impatient with society’s frivolity, but she has a heart of gold for the downtrodden. She’s been so strong for everyone in her life she finds it hard to give up control, but Ben manages to finally make her realize two heads are better than one. When Ben finds out she’s been a fairy godmother for so many people, he wants to make sure she has a happy ending of her own.
Stella: And Ben *sighs* Ben was the golden boy: with his fair hair and angelic handsome features men and women like him and enjoy his company alike. He was described in the novel as a golden retriever and I think it perfectly suits his character as he is a gentle and lovable, warm-hearted and mellow man, the contrast even sharper compared to Evie :-D but that’s why their dynamics worked so well. He also had ahem his fair share of (sex)capades *cough*, which one of his incredibly scandals is your favourite? Either because it is so crazy or just because it is so funny?
Maggie: Ben thanks you, LOL. I think the courtesan races are the most outrageous. Picture a bunch of lords racing with ladies on their shoulders up and down Jane Street…before the invention of aspirin.
Stella: If you could have your dream cast who would play the characters in Lord Gray’s List?
Maggie: Oh, gosh. I’m always rubbish at casting. I usually know what my characters look like in my head, and hardly ever am inspired by photographs. But I do think Evie would have been right at home in the 1950s with all those tall, more-striking-than-pretty models, like Dorian Leigh. As for Ben, maybe a young Russell Crowe?
Stella: In this new series of yours the London List is the most popular Regency gossip magazine, did you have a hoot writing about it, and the ads and stories that were published in it?
Maggie: I did! Most of the ads were based on real ones—I changed most of the wording around, but vintage ads were hilarious and sad at the same time.
Stella: What kind of research did you do for Lord Gray’s List/the London List series? Any funny/interesting/weird tidbit you came across during your research?
Maggie: I spent a lot of time on YouTube watching vintage presses. I am the most unmechanical person in the world and everything I read about printing presses was indecipherable, LOL.
Stella: Can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read Lord Gray’s List?
Maggie: Well, it’s pretty funny in spots. And you may cry the tiniest bit. And it’s sexy. Kirkus Reviews said it’s “a charming, fun Regency romp that combines an innovative, compelling plot with characters that jump off the page and a hot, captivating romance that will tug at heartstrings.”
Stella: Can you summarize Lord Gray’s List for us Twitter-style (140 characters or less)?
Maggie: Putting a newspaper “to bed” has never been so much fun. It doesn’t matter who wears the pants. Eventually they will come off.
Stella: How many books are planned in the London List series, and when will we be able to read them?
Maggie: There are three: Lord Gray’s List, a trade paperback, Captain Durant’s Countess, a full-length ebook exclusive out next February, and Lady Anne’s Lover, a trade paperback in August.
Stella: What is next on your schedule? Any future plans you’d like to share with us?
Maggie: I’m moving into the twentieth century with a new Edwardian series for Berkley Sensation. Two Ladies Unlaced books will be out next year. In the Arms of the Heiress releases in July, and title-not-yet-approved in November. That’s four books for me next year! Whee!
Stella: Can you share with us some little secret trivia (either about you or Ben/Evie) that not many people know about?
Maggie: I adore vintage jewelry and just bought myself an opal, diamond and sapphire ring for my October birthday. I’ll probably never wear it…it’s a bit much for the grocery store.
Stella: Wishing you a belated happy birthday then Maggie, hope you had a great day!
Do you read a newspaper every day, watch TV news or do you get your news online? Maggie offered a signed trade paperback copy of Lord Gray’s List for one commenter!
Lord Gray’s List by Maggie Robinson
Book #1 in the London List series
From duchesses to chamber maids, everybody’s reading it. Each Tuesday, The London List appears, filled with gossip and scandal, offering job postings and matches for the lovelorn—and most enticing of all, telling the tales and selling the wares a more modest publication wouldn’t touch.
The creation of Evangeline Ramsey, The London List saved her and her ailing father from destitution. But the paper has given Evie more than financial relief. As its publisher, she lives as a man, dressed in masculine garb, free to pursue and report whatever she likes—especially the latest disgraces besmirching Lord Benton Gray. It’s only fair she hang his dirty laundry, given that it was his youthful ardor that put her off marriage for good.
Lord Gray—Ben—isn’t about to stand by while all of London laughs at his peccadilloes week after week. But once he discovers that the publisher is none other than pretty Evie Ramsey with her curls lopped short, his worries turn to desires—and not a one of them fit to print.
Maggie Robinson is a former teacher, library clerk and mother of four who woke up in the middle of the night, absolutely compelled to create the perfect man and use as many adverbs as possible doing so. A transplanted New Yorker, she lives with her not-quite perfect husband in Maine, where the cold winters are ideal for staying inside and writing hot historical romances.
Maggie has generously offered a signed copy of Lord Gray’s List to one lucky commenter!
All you have to do is leave a comment answering Maggie’s question:
Do you read a newspaper every day, watch TV news or do you get your news online?
(You can read our full giveaway policy here)
Please be sure to include a valid email address in the comment form (need not be in the actual body of the comment).
This giveaway is open to all!
Giveaway ends on Saturday, 1 December 2012; we will announce the winner on Sunday.