Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Bourne Identity--Joanna Bourne is in the Lair!

by Christine Wells

Please welcome Joanna Bourne to the bandit lair! Joanna writes historical romance for Berkley and her recent release, The Spymaster's Lady, has garnered rave reviews everywhere.

A little about the book: She's braved battlefields. She's stolen dispatches from under the noses of heads of state. She's played the worldly courtesan, the naive virgin, the refined British lady, even a Gypsy boy. But Annique Villiers, the elusive spy known as the Fox Cub, has finally met the one man she can't outwit.

Hi Jo, welcome to the lair! I've heard such great things about this book and I'm champing at the bit to read it but it was sold out in my local romance bookstore, so that's great news for you. Not so good for me, but I have it on order.

Is The Spymaster's Lady the first novel you've had published?

I wrote a standard Regency Romance many years ago. It's long out of print. About the most interesting thing in it is a brief appearance of Adrian Hawkhurst.

In between that little Regency and Spymaster's Lady, I wrote lots of non-fiction for the government. Good practice. Lots of overlap on the skills.

Why do your hero and heroine fall in love and why is it so dangerous for them to do so?

One of the basic challenges in Romance, it seems to me, is that we want a good strong conflict between hero and heroine ... and then at the end, we want everything wrapped up and put away in a neat HappyEverAfter package.

I adore the finicky, step-machine-at-the-gym, afternoon-at-the-spa, city girl who locks horns with the rugged, horse-hockey-kicking, western outdoorsman. I'm wild for the mouthy, idealistic environmental lawyer who confronts the practical, dollars-and-cents building contractor. I love these.

But sometimes, looking back after the happy ending, I ask myself if these folks really have a long-term future together. Their basic outlook on life is sooo different. Love conquers all, of course, but ...

So my folks, my Annique and Grey, even though they're spies for different nations, are very similar in the ways that matter most. They have the same approach to the world. They're fellow professionals in a specialized line of work.

It's like, (jo reaches for a sports metaphor here,) the two quarterbacks in a football game. They may be crashing helmets with verve and elan, but they have more in common with each other than with anybody out there in the stands. Falling in love is almost inevitable, because they have so much in common ... but loving thine enemy is not such a good idea under the circumstance.

I like that idea of people having ideological differences but fundamentally the same outlook on life. In The Spymaster's Lady, you explore the dynamics of power in a relationship. Both your hero and heroine are skilled, intelligent and resourceful. How do you achieve a balance between two powerful people? ie, how do you make one look strong without making the other look weak? ::Christine licks pencil, preparing to take notes::

Basically, I let 'em take turns 'winning'.

Sometimes she gets to tie him up.

Also, I'm trying to look at several types of power here. On the obvious level, Grey has every advantage. He can drag Annique from place to place or lock her up -- at least temporarily. It's brute force power, if you will.

But none of his power is ultimately useful. None of it will get him what he desperately needs. In a lot of ways, he spends the story playing 'catch-up' to powerful decisions Annique has made. It's Annique who holds the secrets to the Albion Plans.

It's Annique who makes the great moral choice of the book. If you look at what's happening at any point, you'll generally find one of Annique's decisions set it off.

I love it when heroines show their heroes that strength comes in many different forms, not just the physical. From reading your blog it's obvious you enjoy analysing and refining your craft. In what way did writing The Spymaster's Lady stretch you or make you a better writer?
It's this 'writing is my life' stuff. We never stop learning. Refining the craft is an ongoing business. I, for instance, hope someday to learn to plot.

And it's plotting I learned, somewhat, with Spymaster's Lady. That was a challenge, trying to get all the loose ends tied up.

Hope I did.

And I will say that taking a whole manuscript from story idea to final draft requires just endless stamina.

Writing European-set historicals for modern American readers can be tricky. How do you tread the line between accuracy and readability?

I come down on the side of readability, of course.

But y'know -- somebody writing a contemporary about Llama farmers in Newark picks and chooses what section of the 'real world' she'll talk about.

I think of historical writing in the same way.

I don't mention that the straw in the floor of a hackney was hopping with fleas and the poor heroine spends the next two days scratching her ankles. I don't point out that maybe one person in twenty had active tb.

Not being inaccurate here. Just selective within the truth.

And our friend with the llama farm probably never uses the word 'income tax' in the whole book. We both pick and choose what parts of our reality we need for the story. I do try not to use Americanisms when I write.
And, of course, the publisher doesn't want me to use certain blatant and puzzling-to-Americans British-isms.

Sometimes this leaves you without any word at all. Always exciting.

Would you like to tell us a bit about the next book in the series?

Next comes My Lord and Spymaster, out in July from Berkley. Sebastian and Jess head up rival international trading firms. It's 1811 and there's endless profit in shipping, smuggling and trade on the fringes of Napoleon's Europe. Then Jess's father is accused of treason ... by Sebastian.

Doyle and Adrian, secondary characters from Spymaster's Lady, appear in My Lord and Spymaster.
Jo is very kindly giving away a signed copy of The Spymaster's Lady to one lucky reader. When I mentioned that we evil banditas make our readers work for their prizes, so we ask them a question, this was Jo's response:

Ask a question of the readers?

Question? Ye gods. What kind of question?
Something like --

If you were in France with Grey and Adrian, would you have run off with Grey? Or Adrian?
orDo you think Doyle and Maggie ended up making love in that big bathtub downstairs and if so did they get all the glass off them before they climbed in, or what?
Who would you rather have in bed, Robert or Grey? or
If you had a huge, mixed-breed dog you found out at the port and brought home, would you really name it Tiny? Or would you call it Hrolf? Or Kane the Destroyer? Or Zippy the Wonder Dog?
Would you say the whole international spy business in the Napoleonic era basically ran on coffee?Is this a bad thing?

Or were you thinking more along the lines of ...

Do you think Regency-era Historical Romances should give a more balanced view of the English/French conflict?

So, dear readers...answer any or all of these questions and win yourself a fantastic book! Thanks for visiting the lair, Jo.


Keira Soleore said...

Cock-a doodle-doo

Christine Wells said...

Fantastic, Keira! Watch out for your bonnet! I'm sure the GR has a taste for pretty confections like that.

Keira Soleore said...

Joanna, a rousing welcome to the Bandita Lair. This is probably our third meet around the blogosphere. First at the EJ/JQ board, then the RNTV board, and now here. What fun! And Christine and Joanna that was a great interview. Christine you always do such fab ones.

Your book took off like a rocket and headed straight into the stratosphere and it keep going up and up, while word-of-mouth publicity is spreading wider and wider. Super congratulations!!

Keira Soleore said...

Christine, I took my bonnet off when I hugged him and betted him and checked him all over to make sure he's in good health with all working parts. Since then, he's out in the yard on a body leash, so he can get some fresh air.

FoAnna and P226: THIS is how you take care of the GR.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Keira, long time no see, says the chook! He loves going to your place. You have such nice manner and give him his corn pellets out of Regency china.

Hmm, Keira, are you saying bondage is the way to handle the rooster? You don't quite look like the type, somehow!

Anna Campbell said...

Joanna, welcome to the lair. Christine, fabulous interview as ever. You really ask the BEST questions!

Because I'm edging into a new story which involves mainly reading nonfiction and, shock, horror, actually writing, I must confess I haven't read your book yet, Joanna. But my goodness, what a huge buzz you've had. Congratulations! It sounds absolutely fascinating and full of drama, intrigue and action - not to mention two passionate people at loggerheads. I, like you, love it when the conflict is really deep and meaty!

Two questions - firstly, did you know you had something amazingly special when you wrote it? If not, when did that realisation hit you? HAS that realisation hit you yet? ;-) Also, everything I've read about your book comments on how brilliantly you do dialogue and inner monologues so that it's clear from a word or two just who is speaking or thinking. Do you have any hints on how you achieve this?

Christine Wells said...

OK, I'm officially appointing you the writer of the Care and Feeding of the Golden Rooster manual, Keira. A body leash? Too funny.

And Keira, I'm so frustrated I haven't been able to get hold of Jo's book. Dying to read it! That's one of the draw-backs to living Down Under, actually.

Christine Wells said...

Bondage, Foanna? Don't tell me Keira's read your next book;)

Anna Campbell said...

Who, me? She said. Looking innocent. And whistling. And putting $1 in the church collection plate... There's a reason the rooster likes to visit me, you know. Bwahahahahaha!

Helen said...

Congrats on the GR Keira sounds like lots of fun at your place.

Great interview ladies I too have read a lot about this book around the blogs and have added it to my must get list will check and see if Rendezvous has it in stock.

Questions there are a few there lets see
1. I really need to read the book
2. Gotta read this book
3. Love the name Grey (very unusual)
4. I would probably call it Tiny (I am Aussie )
5. Not sure on that one I do love coffee especially if there is chocolate to go with it
6. All the historical romances that I have read with spies and Napolean in them have been very good the romance is what I love about the stories but learning facts about the Napolean era is also very enjoyable I am sure I have learn't more from these books than I ever did in school.

Thanks for the interview Ladies I loved it.
Have Fun

PJ said...

Congrats Keira! Sounds like you're just the woman to keep GR in line!

Welcome Joanna! Fantastic interview, Christine. You must get a copy of this book. It's one of the best books I've read. Ever.
It sucked me in from the first page and hasn't let go yet, now almost a month after reading it. It's simply brilliant.

Hmmmmm. Interesting questions, Jo. Let's see...

1) I have no doubt Adrian would be an incredible lover but I probably would have chosen Grey. I've never done anything the easy way.

2) Oh yeah, I definitely think Doyle and Maggie made very good use of that tub. Can't wait to read their complete story!

3) Robert or Grey? I'd like both, please.

4) Oh, I adore huge, mixed-breed mutts but can't say what I'd name him. They usually let me know the perfect name after I've met them.

5) I don't drink coffee so will leave this question to the experts.

6) I wouldn't expect Regency stories to provide a balanced view of the English/French conflict. They *are* set in England, after all but I loved that your's was set in France and gave us both views. Very refreshing.

There are so many twists and turns and unexpected surprises in this story. Did you plot everything out before you began writing or did you let the story write itself along the way?


Eva S said...

Congrats Keira, have a nice day!

I haven't read this book and I agree with Helen, I really need this book! I have heard so much about it this past month...

The questions were tricky since I haven't read the book, but for the last one I like the Regencies more from the English view...
And I have three cats so I don't think they would like a huge dog brought home, no mather what the name is..LOL

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Keira, woo-hoo! The Gr seems to be on a bluestocking run! By the way, if you have any pets watch them, I don't know what P226 taught him but my cats went into hiding when he came in. He gave them "a look" and they dived for cover.

Caren Crane said...

Joanna, welcome to the Lair! Sorry for the all craziness but...er...that's just how we roll around here. *g*

Christine, fabulous interview! Of course, an intelligent and discerning guest always helps. This book sounds fabulous. I think I may have to get divorced for it, but it's coming home with me!

As to the (many) questions, I cannot pass judgment on the characters, their actions, nor their prowess as of yet. However, I know all about naming dogs! I would name him Brutus, since he is a huge, slobbering brute. Plus, it's a nice nod to Popeye, who really doesn't get the love he should.

Thank you for being here, Joanna. And really, you need to learn to plot? How in the world did you pull off this book pantsing it?! (asks the pantser, also ready to take notes, but not licking her pencil - really, Christine, family blog! *g*)

Caren Crane said...

Keira, I meant to say CONGRATS on nabbing the GR. After his day at the office, he may need to decompress. I'm afraid Dianna may have had him answering telephones! *g*

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Joanna, I have chased your book all over town and still haven't managed to get my hands on it. Wonderful reviews everywhere I go. I did see a copy but it was in the hands of another reader, there were no more when I got back to the shelves :-(
To answer your questions, it would have to be Grey if I can have only one.
Uh, tubs can be fun as long as they are big enough and it was I am sure.
Again, if I can only have one it would have to be Grey.
My cats wouldn't like a dog, they don't like each other. But IF I brought one home, I would name him Tiny...LOL I love misnomers.
I believe the whole world runs on coffee.
I really like seeing the French side of things, they are just like the English, every story has two sides right?
I have a question for you. Did your characters give you any surprises while you were writing? Something that made you change the story a little from what you had in your head when you started?

Christie Kelley said...

Joanna, welcome to the lair! Your book sounds fantastic and just as soon as I'm done with book 2 (still unnamed) and Anna Campbell's Untouched, it's next.

I love your idea that you have to know that the HEA is for real and will last. That is so important to me too. I've read too many books and just couldn't believe that the couple would end up truly happy.

With only one cup of coffee in me, it's way too early to ask questions. I'll think of some and come back later.

Minna said...

Like Eva, I like the Regencies more from the English point of view, but then again, I don't think I have read a one single book from French point of view.

terrio said...

Congrats on the GR, Keira. I'm sure it will be quite refined after a visit with you.

Joanna - I'm afraid you're going to think I'm stalking you. But I swear I had no idea you were here today. I've talked to you on two other boards and another blog. LOL! I can't help it we both get around! Wait, that doesn't sound right.

Anyway, I adored this book. Announced at my chapter meeting it was the best thing I've read in a decade. (Except Untouched, of course *g*)

I'll take Grey, thank you. I'm positive Doyle & Maggie enjoyed the tub. Hope all that glass was gone though. I want both Robert and Grey, am recently addicted to coffee so I'll go with that and I like more of a balance from both sides. But I've been fascinated by Napoleon for years so that probably weighs in my decision. *g*

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Joanna - Another Berkley Babe here. I've heard fabulous things about your book - can't wait to read it.

Congrats on the GR, Keira. Hmmm...do you think the rooster can manage a snow shovel? If so, Joan and I may be wagering a war to bring him home with us. Lots of white stuff about.

Joan said...

Congrats, Keira!

Plotting? Hmm...let me write that down.

Of course, My CP's tear their hair out because I DON'T write things down, LOL.

Welcome to the lair. Like several others, I'm adding The Spymaster's Lady to my to be bought list. It sounds great!

You also hit the nail on the head regarding historical accuracy. Fortunately, Romans had lots of baths around so I don't have to stretch the historical accuracy too far to say my characters actually DO take baths.

Maureen said...

Hello Joanna,
I haven't read your story yet although it looks like it's been quite successful and congratulations on that. Therefore I don't know the answer to your questions yet except that I do enjoy historical romances that deal with time periods or events that I haven't seen in a romance yet. It makes the story seem unique.

Gillian Layne said...

Keira, congrats! Hope it's warmer at your house than mine.

Christine, fabulous interview. Joanna, I see your book talked over on so many individual blogs, and it's all good! It's on my 2-B-Rd list for sure.

I think as many varied viewpoints as possible concerning the Regency period will help keep it fresh for readers.

Kate Carlisle said...

Fabulous interview, Christine and Joanna! Welcome to the Lair!

Go Keira!! Thanks for giving the GR a little "down time." He was looking a little dazed after his day at the office with Dianna. Probably spent too much time sniffing white-out and xeroxing his little rooster butt. :-)

Joanna, I truly can't wait to read your book. I love a good Regency Napoleonic spy story and yours sounds like one of the best to come along ever!

And that cover!! Hellooo!!! Must have!! :-)

Joanna Bourne said...

Howdy and howdy --

Sorry to be moving slow this morning.

All voted now

Joanna Bourne said...

Hi Keira --

Wow. Yes. Your avatar is like, known and comforting in a new place.

Joanna Bourne said...

Hi Anna Campbell --

It is Utterly Cool that you haven't read SL. My growing and so-far-untouched TBR pile has Claiming the Courtesan on top and Untouched tucked underneath.

I plan to reward myself with you as soon as the copyedits of My Lord and Spymaster are sent off.

That does sound odd somehow.

>>>> HAS that realisation hit you yet? ;-) <<<<

I'm going to admit I cannot for the life of me see anything special about Spymaster's Lady. It's careful, honest writing, the best I could do, and I'm glad people like it. But it's one of many, many fine books out.

All very puzzling.

>>> dialogue and inner monologues <<<

Well. Deep POV. A matter of crawling inside the character's skin so thoroughly you 'hear' the scene.

I'm lucky in that I can sometimes literally 'hear' the characters' voices.

So much easier.
I typed 'earier' g

jo robertson said...

Superb interview, Christine. Welcome to the Lair, Jo -- from another Jo.

Thanks for the provocative information. I think it's always hard for a writer to balance enough detail with too much. See, I'd be interested in the fleas, but most readers wouldn't!

Your books sound incredibly interesting. I'll add them to my reading list. Your conflict sounds perfect, ostensibly one which can't be resolved -- working for two different governments not on friendly terms with one another? But I like your idea of getting at the core of your protagonists' character.

Uh, yeah, the big bathtub for sure. That's where something wonderful will happen!

Trish Milburn said...

Hi, Joanna. Thanks for hanging out in the lair with us today. As I was reading your post, I kept thinking about the movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith. :)

Joanna Bourne said...

Hi PJ --

Tha thanks so much for the kind words. Thank you.

>>>1) I have no doubt Adrian would be an incredible lover but I probably would have chosen Grey.<<<<

That's what I feel about Adrian at this age. Good for an affair, but not yet a keeper.

>>>>2) Oh yeah, I definitely think Doyle and Maggie made very good use of that tub. Can't wait to read their complete story!<<<<

I start on it in about a week, I think. I'll be in California, sitting in coffee shops, thinking.

>>>3) Robert or Grey? I'd like both, please.<<<

Sequentially or simultaneously?

>>>>Did you plot everything out before you began writing or did you let the story write itself along the way? <<<<

Oh, I'm a plotter and planner.

I'm just not all that organized a plotter.

Joanna Bourne said...

>>> Plus, it's a nice nod to Popeye, who really doesn't get the love he should. <<<<

I have long felt this way abot Popeye, but secretly. I'm glad to be able to
'let it all out' in public.

Joanna Bourne said...

>>>I have a question for you. Did your characters give you any surprises while you were writing? Something that made you change the story a little from what you had in your head when you started?<<<<<

I do know that Adrian kept grabbing the steering wheel. Ye gods that boy knows how to take over a story.

Joanna Bourne said...

>>Fortunately, Romans had lots of baths around so I don't have to stretch the historical accuracy too far to say my characters actually DO take baths.

They had quite lovely baths.

I spent a lot of time in Europe, wandering around from ruin to ruin. You cannot toss a cobblestone without hitting a Roman bath. You'll be in the middle of NOPLACE and you'll find one.

So ... do you think Romans held orgies in their baths? You always see them pictured lying around on couches ...

Joanna Bourne said...

>>I was reading your post, I kept thinking about the movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith. :)<<<

Loved it. Have you seen 'Undercover Blues'?

Cassondra said...

Wonderful interview Joanna and Christine!

Joanna, thanks for joining us in the lair. I haven't read your book yet, but now I'll have to pick it up.

Going to Barnes & Noble with the laptop to try to get some writing done myself--and of course, since it's a bookstore I'll have to check for your book....and you know, the customer service people there try to hide behind the counter when they see me crossing the threshold.

They're not particularly romance friendly, and they KNOW I'm going to want something they don't have, and they'll have to order, and I'll say something snide like, "this book is making huge waves....any particular reason you don't have it on the shelf?????" And then of course, when they hem and haw and uh and ahem....I'll say, "do me a favor will you and look it up in the computer? Perhaps you've all sold out or there's more on order.......no? Well, you'll change that won't you? You're going to get requests for it...."

I'm awful, I know it.

Joanna said:

It's careful, honest writing, the best I could do,

Joanna, I admire this most of all in a writer. Even after doing a lot of writing I find myself looking at my own and thinking "you're channeling __________(insert name of popular writer I've just read here)and sheesh the cliches and why don't you give up if you have nothing unique to do or say!"

I love that you know you've done what you could do and that it's HONEST. I think as readers, we know that instantaneously. Congrats on the success of this book!

flchen1 said...

Congrats on the GR, Keira! Sounds like he's getting some excellent care today!

Joanna, hi!! I have heard only raves about Spymaster's Lady from avidly book-loving friends and cannot wait to get my hands on my own copy!

I don't know how to answer the questions, not having read the book yet, but ooh--a big bathtub! And I love strong heroines and spies and intrigue! That sounds wonderful!

And Zippy the Wonder Dog is a great name for a dog--seriously! :) Plus I think my kids would love it!

And history being one of my worst subjects ever, I don't believe i'm qualified to comment on the basis of the whole international spy business in the Napoleonic era, or at any other point in time. Although coffee can be a really good thing!

On the English/French conflict in historical romances, it's fun to read both (not necessarily in the same novel)--after all, books are how I get the chance to learn about all sorts of stuff from different places, people, and times, so bring it on! :)

Thanks again for a lovely interview, Joanna--congrats on your successes and very much looking forward to reading your writing!

Jane said...

Hi Joanna,
I haven't read the book, but I'm going to choose to be in bed with Grey. My choice is based solely on the fact that I love the cover and the cover model. I'm going to picture Nathan every time I read about Grey. As for Doyle and Maggie, I know for certain that they ended up in the bathtub together. I'm a sucker for bath scenes. I think having a more balanced view the English/French conflict would be great, but since many romance heroes are English, the view is slanted.

Trish Milburn said...

Joanna, I haven't seen Undercover Blues, but there just so happens to be a wee bit of room on my Netflix queue. :)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Congrats on the GR Keira! Yeah!

Joanna, welcome to the Lair! I was LOL about your questions. I have heard so much great buzz about your book. Hope I win it. :> The only one I can answer is I would NOT name the huge dog Tiny (or Rambo, for that matter!)but Caren's Brutus would work, or Zippy the Wonder Dog. I tend to name dogs after alcohol (Remy, Harp) Joanie T would probably like Brutus as well though. Ha!

I loved what you said about selectively using the truth in any era. BTW, I'd LOVE to see some books from the French POV, both historical and comtemporary. Not that I don't love England and Scotland, but we could use some new horizons, ya know? :>

Caren, you had me nearly choking on Diet Coke w/ the "family blog" comment. SNORK!!!!

Oh, and since I believe Coffee to be one of the essentials of life next to bread, salt, and chocolate, I'd say yes. The entire thing probably DID run on coffee or excellent English (read: strong!) tea. :> Either way, caffeine was involved.

FoAnna - bondage...oh, we have to know!
Kate, please don't tell me he photocopied his butt. Rooster butt on paper...yikes!
Cassondra, you are channeling YOU. Get back to work. Grins.

Joan said...

So ... do you think Romans held orgies in their baths? You always see them pictured lying around on couches ...

The Romans did LOTS of things in the baths but orgies? Usually only on Saturday nights :-)

Cassondra said...

Jeanne, I'm there. Working. Of course, I chose Panera instead of B&N, and wouldn't you know it has free wifi. Dang. But....it's freezing here and cold blowing rain and they have a fireplace!

I promise, as soon as I hit "send" for this message, I'm offline and back to the wretched villain's POV. HATING that. Stalling.

Keira, I hate to tell you, but I'm thinking the GR will revolt against the leash, what with the recent survival, evasion, resistance and escape (SERE)training from P226. (YOU HAVE taught him that, haven't you, P226? )

If not, I'll have to get my husband on the blog to capture him. Those are necessary skills, what with Anna C on the prowl...you never know when her baser instincts will send her right over the edge with our rooster in tow! J/K Fo! ;0)

doglady said...

Congrats on the GR, keira!! Anna C and p226 have definitely been bad influences on him!!

Joanna, I have heard so many fabulous things about this book and I cannot find it anywhere so it has to be great!! And now that I know about your dialogue and deep POV talent I will be reading it over and over - not to copy you, but just to get an idea of how it is done. I am SO glad to hear that a pantser has had such success. I always have a sweeping story arc in mind, but I tend to let the characters do the driving even when they are driving me nuts!

Hmmm as to the questions.

1. I really want to read this book.
2. Why can't I find a copy of this book?
3. I want whoever the guy is on the cover because he is definitely HAWT!
4.I have two large hairy dogs of indeterminate parentage. Their names are Clyde (short for Clydesdale) and Mammoth (because my brother said she is a cross between a Rottweiler and a wooly mammoth.)So one of those names would be my choice.
5. I don't drink coffee. I do however drink copious amounts of tea every day - hot and cold.
6.I am always fascinated by the intrigues of the Napoleonic Wars. It is a great backdrop for a romance with all kinds of possibilities. But behind all the sweep of the battlefields, the glitter of the ballrooms, and the cloak and dagger of the world of spies there were also very real people, with real emotions, sorrows, fears and all of the hard decisions a world at war forces a person to make.orysmom

Cassondra said...

Oh, Pssst...Joanna, you'll have to overlook our distraction with the Golden Rooster. He seems to have, over just a few months, managed a clandestine takeover of our blog!

Now we just have to put up with him or there's an awful fuss. Maybe Keira could distract him with your book. He loves reading. Sounds like there are some excellent male role models in there.

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks, Joanna. And congratulations again on your wonderful success! I understand the lure of a TBR pile when you're working - sometimes, sadly, the lure proves too strong ;-)

Terri, you're a sweetie! You make me laugh! ;-)

Cassondra, how dare you take my name in vain? I'm going to sic a vodka-fuelled chook on ya, kiddo!

Oh, Jeanne, the idea of the rooster photocopying his cute little butt? Eeek!

limecello said...

Hi Joanna - haha, too many questions! So I'm going with the easy one - if I found a ginormous dog, I would definitely name it "Tiny." Or something plain - like Jack" :-D
And Congratulations!

MsHellion said...

Yeah, there probably be a more balanced portrayal in how French and English are portrayed in the Napoleonic conflicts. I'm sure you can find good guys on either side...and it's fair to share their stories.

History is written by the winners, you know. Does that mean just because the winners won, they were absolutely right? I don't think so, at least not in all the wars.

catslady said...

Oh I just want to say I have heard soooooooooooooooooooo many wonderful things about this book. And I want it :)

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Kate, he wasn't sniffing the white out but he spent a lot of time hanging out in the break room where the food is until he found out there was no alcohol. Then he started going desk to desk and I gotta tell you, it was hard trying to get him in the car to go home.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

"I do know that Adrian kept grabbing the steering wheel. Ye gods that boy knows how to take over a story."
Hmmm, sounds like a powerful character, I might have to change my mind and go with him :-D

Nathalie said...


I have read great reviews about your book, and I have always liked spy novels. However, as I have studied french history, this era has been taught to me by acknowledging that the English were the bad ones :)

However, in the novels, it is always the french who are depicted as a bit evil... so balance would be nice :)

Christine Wells said...

Nathalie, that's an interesting slant on that part of history. I can't remember when I realized history was merely one person's or one side's version of events, but it was an eye-opener. I have heard that French revolution settings are the kiss of death to a romance novel in the US but I'm sure all it will take is a writer with the talent to take the genre by storm and we'll see those, too.

p226 said...

Keira, I hate to tell you, but I'm thinking the GR will revolt against the leash, what with the recent survival, evasion, resistance and escape (SERE)training from P226. (YOU HAVE taught him that, haven't you, P226? )

We touched on it. I never went to SERE school myself, but we certainly went over some of the principles. And.. well... I wouldn't be surprised if Keira finds something else on the end of that leash when she returns for him. Something with a green lead... and looks curiously like a funny lil silver tube stuck in a bar of soap....

Caren Crane said...

Watch out, Keira, there may be explosives in your home!!

Jeanne, my bff named her dogs Guinness and Murphy, so you guys are right on the same page! She also said she almost named Murphy 'Harp'. *g*

Dianna, the GR is always in a couple of days of detox when he comes back from Australia. He said the Aussies ply him with tropical drinks and he's just a chook who cain't say no!

Also, I meant to say this morning that if I read books with the Napoleonic wars written from the French POV, I would jump right into their camp and root for them. And the next English-set book, I'd root for them. I am bad for siding with whoever is the sympathetic character. *g*

Also, I am very sad because I gave up caffeine for Lent. I'm fairly certain the Napoleonic wars were not fought on decaf. Humph!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Caren, I think the "giving up caffeine" has got to be a supreme act of will, and sacrifice appropriate to the spirit of the season. (I don't have enough spine for that sacrafice, alas, but I applaud you!)

Had to LOL about Guiness and Murphy too, Caren. :>

Of course the girl-dogs I've bred usually end up w/ names from lit'ra'chure. Grins. Guys - alcohol, Girls - books. Hmmmm. How Freudian.

Christine Wells said...

Jo, thanks very much for being our guest today.

Loved everyone's inventive answers to Jo's tricky questions! Good luck and we'll announce the winner soon:)

Jennifer Y. said...

Just wanted to say Hello and sorry I missed the fun today! Been really sick...this book looks great and I have added it to my wishlist...can't wait to get it!

Joanna Bourne said...

Hi Jennifer Y --

I came back to wave hello anyway.

I do hope you enjoy SL ..

Joanna Bourne said...

>>I'm fairly certain the Napoleonic wars were not fought on decaf. <<<

Oh, giggle.