Interview: Author Madeline Hunter + Giveaway

Filed in Giveaways , Interview , Madeline Hunter , The HEA Lover Posted on September 24, 2010 @ 6:00 am 38 comments

It’s with pleasure that we welcome Madeline Hunter, today on Book Lovers Inc. Madeline is the author of The Rarest Blooms series, the 3rd book in the series Sinful in Satin will be released on September 28th. Please give Madeline a warm welcome!! 

The HEA Lover: Madeline can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Madeline: I am an author of historical romances, and my first book was published ten years ago. I first set my stories in the middle ages, but have used the early 19th century for the last six years. I am also a mom, a wife, a cat owner, and a college professor of Art History.
The HEA Lover: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?
Madeline: I used to be a pure pantser. The day came when I had to do some planning, because once a writer is published her contracts call for proposals that require a description of the story. I found a nice compromise, where I work up proposals and plots and describe the “what” and the “why”, but still leave the “how” for discovering as I write. So I do not plan out the whole book, scene by scene or even episode by episode, in advance, but I do plan what I call the spine of the story.

On a typical day I try to write about 5 pages, but often I don’t make it due to life happening. I am more disciplined in hitting a weekly target of about 20-25 pages. Since I have another career, I have to juggle the two to make sure that neither is neglected. I have to make sure my family is not neglected too.
The HEA Lover: I read on your website that you have a Ph.D. in Art History and that you’re also teaching in college. Were you always interested in history or did you chose this field of study more out of your interest in Arts?
Madeline: I was always interested in history. I had a teacher in grade school who taught history by telling stories, and I was enthralled and hooked for life. As for studying Art History, it combined my two main interests so it was a natural. I also discovered that it suited my learning style and my way of analyzing, so once I got involved in it I just kept going.
The HEA Lover: What do you think is the difference between a reader and a real Book Lover?
Madeline: That is an interesting question. I suppose the book lover is the person who haunts bookstores, browsing, choosing a wide range of books to read “just because”. She may seek out bookstores when she travels, and consider bookstore visits a little holiday and not only a means to an end. I also think the book lover finds real pleasure in the process of reading—-the rituals she develops for it. If a real book lover has the money, she will also buy lots of books even though she knows she doesn’t have to, that she can get them at the library, for example. She just wants to be around them, and they are important to her sense of identity. Some book lovers eventually become collectors of books, either by subject or by age and rarity.
The HEA Lover: In your The Rarest Blooms series we meet a bunch of woman from many different pasts. They all live together, without being forced to reveal their pasts, and together they work in a nursery hence the name of the series, The Rarest Blooms. Why did you chose this setting to bring these woman together?
Madeline: It derives from old research I did when I set my books in the middle ages. In the late middle ages there were institutions of lay women who lived together communally. Often they left the community to have jobs in the towns, and returned at night. They took no vows, and were free to leave at any time. It was a sanctuary for single women at a time when such women were vulnerable. So this idea played in my mind for a long time, and I decided I would recreate such a community in the early 19th century, and even have a “rule” of precepts for living harmoniously like they did in the original ones. In the series it is called “Daphne’s Rule” but it is actually accepted by consensus by all the women.
From the viewpoint of a writing a series, such a community gave me the opportunity to bring a variety of women, often with pasts that were obscure or scandalous, to one place in a sisterhood that serves as a sanctuary. I planned the series to be a long unfolding of their histories and secrets.
The HEA Lover: You’re new book, Sinful in Satin, is book three in your series. Could you summarize the first 2 books for us twitter style (140 characters tops)?
Madeline: Oh, dear. I have trouble writing 10 pages synopses, let alone twitter condensations! Can I ask that anyone interested visit my website at and click on the Books tab. Each book has a little blurb there that is as short as I could make it, which is more than 140 characters.
The HEA Lover: What can we expect of Sinful in Satin?
Madeline: Readers can expect emotional intensity, and a relationship that is adult from the start, with characters who are aware of the potential for eroticism. They can expect an intrigue, and a surprise ending. They can expect a heroine who is self-possessed, and trying to create a life that contradicts the life she was born and raised for, and which the world expects her to have. And they can expect a dark hero who is mysterious, with a quiet danger that is actually more lethal than one would guess. They can also expect the sisterly love of the women in the series, and the fun intereraction when the men get together and are all “guys” with each other. For past readers of the series, they may be happy to know that Castleford has a major secondary role.
The HEA Lover: We meet your heroine, Celia in Ravishing in Red, the 1st book of The Rarest Blooms series. Celia has as all the woman a rather hard burden to live with. Her mother was a famous Courtesan. How did this influence Celia? What kind of woman is she?
Madeline: The book is all about the answers to these questions, as Celia sets out to discover just what kind of woman she really is. The book opens with her mother’s funeral, and Celia is left with little inheritance except the training that her mother provided so that she could follow in her mother’s path. She has to decide whether to accept this legacy and have a life of comfort, luxury, and even fame, or continue to repudiate it as she has for the last five years. She thinks she makes her choice, but events interfere with it. As does the world, which remembers too well who she is and the woman she was supposed to become.
The HEA Lover: Jonathan Albrighton is on a secret mission in Ravishing in Red. He should investigate if Celia’s mother left any compromising evidence. What is he usually like when he isn’t investigating deceased Courtesans?
Madeline: He is closed and private, beneath an amiable exterior. He has worked as an agent for the Home Office during the war, and now still takes missions. He also has hired out as private investigator. It becomes clear quickly in the book that during the war he undertook missions of moral ambiguity, which has taken a toll on him, making his sense of his own soul murky. However, he has a dry sense of humor, and he does not go around licking his wounds. He is educated, and well read. He follows scientific discoveries closely, subscribing to journals and attending lectures. He is attracted to the solid facts of science, since he finds little else in the world true and secure.
The HEA Lover: On your website you say about these two: “These two characters have much in common to draw them together, but also much to keep them apart.” What is the most important thing they have in common and what drives them apart?
Madeline: The are both outsiders. Both bastards, both repudiated by their blood families. They have both been trained to be among the sinners of the world—she as a prostitute, and he as an assasin. One would think these commonalities would bring them together, and they do. However, both want more, want normalcy, want recognition of their true identities, and they both understand in their own ways that they will not be able to achieve that and also have each other.
The HEA Lover: Will there be more books in this series?
Madeline: There is one more planned, Dangerous in Diamonds, which I am writing right now. It will be released next May. It is Castleford’s story, and his nemesis is the cool, composed Daphne Joyes.
The HEA Lover: What is next on your schedule? Anything else we should keep our eyes open for?
Madeline: I am currently working out the next series. It is too ill formed to reveal anything yet, however. I have agreed to a new contract with my publisher, so I anticipate another book in 2011 after Dangerous in Diamonds.
The HEA Lover: Now can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read your books?
Madeline: Another hard question. Hmmm. Okay, first, they are not predictable. Second, there is always a strong plot. Characters don’t just go to balls and banter, but have agendas tied to a secondary plot that is a mystery or intrigue or quest. Third, I am told that the characters literally come alive, and are real and layered and not caricatures or superficial “types.”
The HEA Lover: Who’s your favorite character in The Rarest Blooms series?
Madeline: I am not sure I can answer this. It helps if readers understand that when a writer is writing a book, those characters must be her favorites. The book just does not get written otherwise, or at least not written well. So having invested totally in each character as each book is written, I can’t look back and say “this one is my favorite.” Not to mention I am now writing one of the books, so right now those two have to be my favorites.
The HEA Lover: If you were forced to only read books by ONE author for the rest of your life who’s books would it be?
Madeline: Are there readers who can answer this? I know that I can’t. However, if there are readers of this blog who can, please share with all of us!
The HEA Lover: I, for sure can’t answer that one either. *wink* Thank you again so much for taking the time to answer all our questions Madeline. It’s a real pleasure to welcome you here today =)



Madeline generously offered to send one (1) winner the first 2 books in The Rarest Bloom series. Here is what the winner will get :

– Ravishing in Red
– Provocative in Pearls

All you have to do is leave ask Madeline a question or just leave a meaningful comment about the post.

Please leave us a way to contact you 
(email in blogger profile or twitter name is okay- no way to contact you – no way to win).

This giveaway is International!! (thank you Madeline)

Giveaway ends on Saturday, October 2nd and we will announce the winners on Sunday.

Good Luck everyone!

About Caro The HEA Lover

Caroline is a HEA loving, yarn addicted French who's desperately hoping to get a HEA of her own. If she's not reading then she can be found knitting while listening to Audiobooks or watching Tv shows. Her secret addiction is reading websites that make fun at other people's expense (DYAC, Failbook)! Caroline also blogs at the Secret HEA Society with Susi.

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Join the Discussion
  • mountie9 September 24, 2010 at 7:31 am

    I really enjoy Madeline'e books, they always move along so well and the characters are interesting. As for the read books by one author — I couldn't do that. There are so many different types of genre's and authors. My fav's right now are Julie Kenner, Jennifer Estep, Marta Acosta, Suzanne Collins. Ooh — I know Dr Seuss – that might be one that I could live with
    contestmom AT hotmail DOT com

  • Kulsuma September 24, 2010 at 7:36 am

    These books look amazing. So pretty. Five pages a day is really good!

    Count me in please!

  • vickyvak September 24, 2010 at 8:13 am

    First of all, I'd like to say that these books look really interesting and I'll probably buy them if I don't win them!

    The question I'd like to ask is: Which is your all time favourite book and why? Does it apply to a certain age group?


  • Linda Henderson September 24, 2010 at 9:10 am

    I really enjoyed your interview. Would you ever consider writing in another genre, say paranormal ?

    seriousreader at live dot com

  • Victoria September 24, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Really stupid question but after seeing the cover of SINFUL IN SATIN I want to know. Do you ever wish you had the dresses that are on the covers of your books? I love that pink number :).
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Meredith September 24, 2010 at 11:17 am

    The covers are awesome and certainly tie to the titles. Do you title your books with the cover in mind?

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

  • Sabrina September 24, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Thanks for this great interview. I especially enjoyed the answer to what a booklover is and I would agree with it totally.

  • ClaudiGC September 24, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    I have read older books of yours an loved them. I think I need to do a bit online shopping :-). Oh, and I love your covers! So, are you interested to write in another time period, next to 19th century?

    claudigc at msn dot com

  • Barbara E. September 24, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Hi Madeline,
    I love your books and since I haven't had a chance to get started on the The Rarest Blooms series, it would be awesome to win the first two books in the series.


  • Blodeuedd September 24, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Nice interview 🙂
    But oh that last question was a difficult one, and to answer that….honestly I am gonna go crazy and say Barbara Cartland, lol, cos at least I would have plenty to choose from 😉 And they are always amusing in a silly way. But if I could have an dream author it would be Robert Jordan

    blodeuedd1 at gmail dot com

  • Alexa September 24, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Oh I have heard great things about these books from several ladies on a chat site. I would love to get the chance to read this series.

  • Madeline September 24, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    My sincere apologies for coming in so late. I lost power for two days, and even getting in to the day job today and back was lengthened due to work on power lines!
    Regarding the question about writing in other genres—I have toyed with both straight historical fiction, and with romantic suspense. I have ideas for both. However, for now I am going to be writing historical romances

  • Madeline September 24, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    I am impressed, Blodeuedd, that you could name one. Barbara has a lot of books, of course, so that helps pass all those years! One reaason I got snagged on the question was I started calculating how many books an author had, and how many times I would want to reread them, and how many years I hope to live—all that math did me in.

  • Madeline September 24, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    vickyvac, do you mean my favorite if my books? Or of all books I have ever read?
    I can't answer the first, but for the second I have different ones in different genres. I loved Dorothy Dunnett's Nicolo Rising for historical fiction. And in historical romance, I still have fond memories of Laura Kinsale's Flowers on the Storm, which mesmerized me when I read it.

  • Madeline September 24, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Victoria, I think there should be a clause in my contracts giving me the gowns used on the books. When there is a gown. Otherwise, I should get the guy used on my book covers 🙂

  • Madeline September 24, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    Meredith, the titles come first. I don't have control on either the titles or the covers, by the way. I am consulted, and I had more of a hand in these titles than I normally do (usually my titles suck, to be honest). But the titles are decided way before the cover is designed.
    For the covers, because this is a series (but each can really be read separately—really!) the art department had to think of the whole series in designing the first cover, because it would set the "type" of cover for all the books.

  • Madeline September 24, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    ClaudiaG, thank you for the nice words about my books! I have written in the middle ages–my first 6 books are set then, and are all still in print. I would love to write in the Italian Renaissance, but it is really tricky whether readers would take to it.The limitations on settings are created by the market, not by authors. We would go all over the world if readers would buy the books!

  • The Itzel Library September 24, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    You have left me intrigued by your books. I haven´t had a chance to read them, but for now added to my wish list! I think your description of a book lover is great, many people believe that anyone can fall into that category for the simple fact read, but I do not think so, all-embracing love reading what you said, and not all readers we awarded that merit.

    Thanks for the interview and giveaway!


  • Madeline September 24, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Hi, Itzel Library—the book lover question really got me thinking. In particular, I thought about my father who was a big reader. I don't know if he was a book lover, though. He approached reading differently from people I think of as book lovers. Then agan, maybe he would have indulged in bookloving if he could have afforded it.

  • Sheree September 25, 2010 at 1:56 am

    Hi, Madeline! In "The Sins of Lord Easterbrook", the titular character has some sort of psychic/paranormal ability. Are you going to write more in that vein? Thanks!


  • stacey September 25, 2010 at 4:08 am

    I will more then likely buy them if I don't win them but right now I'm reading Paranormal Romance for a few months then i will be getting back to my Historical romances when I get back What I do not win by then I will be buying I Read in groupings of types

  • Madeline September 25, 2010 at 10:06 am

    sheree, that sensitivity Easterbrook had just emerged from his character, so if something like that emerges again I will use it. I did not really think of it as paranormal, but maybe I am splitting hairs. I think all of us have empathy–his was just more developed than most people. I did enjoy having that element in there, but some readers did not care for it in one of my books. Still, if it works for the character and the story, I would do it again. But nothing specifically paranormal is planned.

  • Madeline September 25, 2010 at 10:07 am

    stacey, I tend to read in groups too. I have one phase, then another. Then back to the first, etc.

  • jen7waters September 26, 2010 at 7:48 am

    Hi Madeline!

    Question: is there any character of yours (lead role, or not) that you developed based on a real person, perhaps on someone you know? Or just gave the character a trait from that person?

    thank you!;)


  • Scorpio M. September 26, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    I haven't read any books from this series yet but Madeline's works are always so good!

    Twitter: @scorpio1m

  • Jennifer September 26, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    I've loved Madeline's books for years.

  • k_sunshine1977 September 26, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    hi madeline! i would read one (or more!) of your books set in the italian Renaissance! that would be awesome!

    i had read some of your earlier works, and i'm curious: why the period change? i'm loving this new series, and yes, i think you should be able to keep the dresses too! 🙂

    k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

  • Mandarina September 28, 2010 at 6:39 am

    Hello, I want to enter in giveaway. I am international reader.

    My question for you: what age you write for the first time?

    mail: noemisapi(@)gmail(.)com

  • GREYZ September 28, 2010 at 6:51 am

    The books looks great and great interview btw. 🙂 My question would be, in your spare time what books do you read, genres?

    great giveaway!

  • Misha1989 September 28, 2010 at 11:06 am

    The books look very interesting! I would love to enter!
    My question- "What are the 5 books you can't live without?"


  • Lora1967 September 29, 2010 at 10:05 am

    I loved the interview. i wanted to ask How do authors fan base different that a rock stars fa base. Have you ever been stalked by a crazed fan?
    Thanks for the great giveaways. I hope to win these books. All prizes won are read then donated to the Middletown Public Library here. They are low on funds and taking donations.

  • yllektra (force-oblique) September 29, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    First of all thanks so much for this interview it was really wonderful.

    Then, I would like to ask Mrs Hunter if it is easier writing from a woman's pov, or does she (would she) write from a man's pov?

  • Png September 29, 2010 at 8:40 pm


    my question is

    'what made u choose the 'half-face,full body' pose for your book covers?'


  • FairyWhispers September 29, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    This is so interesting!!!

  • throuthehaze September 29, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    I really like the covers of your books. Are you happy with how they turned out?

    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  • meitha September 30, 2010 at 9:21 am

    yaay amazing giveaway ..
    please enter me

    my email is :

  • allisonsbj3 September 30, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    I absolutely love the covers on these books, they are beautiful!


  • MommyWantsToRead October 1, 2010 at 11:08 am

    OH my gosh I'm in love with the covers. I know I know never judge a book by it's cover. But since I'm discussing covers my question would be what are some of your all time favorite book covers you've seen and did it influence whether or not you read the book?

    giveawaymommy at

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