Wednesday, July 7, 2010

An Unlikely Earl

posted by Nancy
Bestselling author Patricia Rice is back in the Lair to celebrate the release of her 47th book, The Wicked Wyckerly. I got an early peek, and it's fabulous--full of humor and quirky characters and hot in all the right places. Just in case anyone doesn't know, Pat's romances have won numerous awards, including the RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice and Career Achievement Awards. Her forty-sixth book, MYSTIC WARRIOR, is currently nominated for 2009 Historical Romance of the Year by RT Book Reviews. She has also been a RITA finalist in the historical, Regency, and contemporary categories.

Welcome, Pat! How is The Wicked Wyckerly different from the Mystic Isle series?

I’ve left the paranormal Mystic world behind and returned to the Regency world of my origins. Don’t get me wrong, I have more paranormals up my sleeve! But I’ve had this Regency idea nagging at the back of my mind that simply needed to be written. WYCKERLY is much more romance and character-driven and less action-oriented than the adventures of the Mystic Isles, but I hope my readers enjoy my characters enough to see what I’m up to now.

Who are the hero and heroine?

John Fitzhugh Wyckerly is the younger son of a bankrupt earl, one of the notorious Wyckerlys who gained their fortune through piracy and who have gone their own way through the ages without regard to anyone else. Fitz’s mathematical genius at counting cards keeps him in starched linen, since the estate provides no allowance. And his charm has made him ever popular at London’s dinner tables, so he never goes hungry.

Abigail Merriwether is a respectable rural spinster who almost married a vicar until her father died, leaving her in charge of four very young, rambunctious half-siblings. The small estate she inherits is scarcely sufficient to induce any man to take on the expense and trouble of four children. So the vicar fled, and then the childrens’ guardian decided they’d be better off with a distant—married, male—cousin, leaving Abby alone and determined to get the children back.

Fitz has prodigious skill with numbers. Was there any particular inspiration for that?

You think just because I’m an accountant that I might have prodigious skills? Not me. I’m lucky to add two and two and not get five half the time. But I wanted my hero to have one asset to call his own, one that he’s made the very best of, and counting cards worked best for the gambling-mad Regency era.

Abby is great not only with managing kids and the hero but with gardening. Any particular inspiration for that skill?

Okay, I’ll claim that one. I’ve gardened pretty much all my life. Gardening—and farming in general—requires a great deal of knowledge, patience, and a certain amount of luck. All of this requires a nurturing nature, which is what Abby needs to deal with children.

What's the biggest problem keeping Fitz and Abby apart?

Money, of course, or the lack thereof. Plus, Fitz is a dreadful father since he’s had utterly no experience in parenting. He’s been raised by a succession of poorly paid servants who allowed him to run wild as a child. Abby can’t possibly take a chance on a bankrupt gambler who lets his own child swear like a sailor. Not at first, leastways.

The Marchioness of Belden is an intriguing character. Tell us a bit about her.

When I first brainstormed this series with my editor, I had two series ideas in mind. One was about the younger sons of aristocrats, and the other was about an incredibly wealthy woman who has decided to give her female relations options she didn’t have by granting them a thousand pounds a year. Once I put those two ideas together, the marchioness, Lady Bell as she’s affectionately called, came into being. She definitely has a back story. With luck and reader support, perhaps I’ll have a chance to tell her tale some time. Every series depends on readers buying the books!

I notice the cover says this is one of the Rebellious Sons series. I love your series. Can you give us a preview?

THE DEVILISH MONTAGUE will be the 2011 release. The current blurb on him reads: On the field of honor at dawn—dark and sardonic, Blake Montague has the mind of a master strategist, but barred from claiming the glory of war by his restrictive family, he must put his warrior's heart at risk and find a wife willing to finance his desire to fight for England. Except what wife would want a man like him dead on a battlefield?

As an additional note, the last of my e-book Magic series, MAGIC MAN, was released last week on Bookviewcafe . The entire series is now available in just about every e-book format.

I loved that series, too. Readers can check out an excerpt of The Wicked Wyckerly at Pat's website, where it downloads as a pdf. Before you run check it out, though, answer one or more of these questions to have your name in the hat to win a copy of The Wicked Wyckerly:

What story about a single father would you recommend? What story about an older sibling trying to take care of younger ones would you recommend? Which gambler heroes have you enjoyed?


Virginia said...

Is he coming my way!

Virginia said...

I will have to think about the question right now I just can't come up with anything.

limecello said...

Heh - now that Virginia has taken the GR [and congratulations!]
I have time to formulate my answer.

Hi Patricia! Thanks for visiting with us today. And oh my - 47 releases! I'm sure you're still excited with each and every one, so congratulations on your new book!
Hmm... older sibling caring for younger sibling? Amelia - throughout the Hathaway books by Lisa Kleypas. And she also wrote a single father- When Stranger Marry, I believe? [Sugar Daddy had Liberty taking care of her younger half sister...]

SEP wrote some sibling books, with This Heart of Mine and the older sister's book - which comes first- is It Had To Be You.

As for a gambler hero... seems too easy to go back to Derek Craven another Kleypas hero so... hm. Usually gambling is a bad thing. How about A Perfect Groom by Samantha James? The hero makes a wager...

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Pat!

Love that cover! This sounds like a book that will definitely find a place on my shelf. For a gambler hero - the first one that came to my mind is Lisa Cooke's Texas Hold 'em. He was a riverboat gambler - Maverick style.

Christine Wells said...

Hi Pat! Lovely to see you in the Bandit lair. Congratulations on your new release. It sounds wonderful.

Nancy thank you for hosting Pat. That was a great interview. I love series and hearing about how they came to be.

As for your questions, a couple of stories leap to mind--I loved Georgette Heyer's Sylvester and his relationship with the precocious Edmund and also Frederica, which is one of my favourite books of all time--not about a single father but a man out of his depth with the heroine's brood of siblings, not to mention the Baluchistan hound! Actually, I agree with Lime, Lisa Kleypas has done some great sibling/family books, too.

Congrats on the rooster, Virginia!

Helen said...

Well done Virginia have fun with him

Hi Patricia congrats on the new release and thanks Nancy for inviting Patricia today. I must confess I have a few of your books on the TBR pile but haven't got to them yet but this one sounds ecxellent I will be adding it to my order this week.

I have read lots of books about older siblings and single fathers and gamblers but for the life of me I can't think of any titles at the moment I have not long got home from work and the brain is mush and I also have 2 of my grandkids here keeping me busy I will be back.

Have Fun

Patricia Rice said...

Hi, everyone! I'm actually here early for a change because my email seems to have crashed and I'm not ready to dig into the current opus yet. So a little partying seemed a good idea. Thank you for having me here again!

Kleypas, yes! Excellent thought. I have a bad memory for titles and plots but I remember hers now that you mention them.

And by all means, Helen, don't leave Fitz sitting in your TBR too long or he'll gamble the stack and triple it for you. "G"

gamistress66 said...

Congrats on the release. It's amazing that you're able to keep coming up with fresh ideas -- 47 published books is amazing. The Wicked Wyckerly sounds interesting and fun.

I'm terrible at remember titles and such. Particularly early in the morning before the brain has woken up ;) I know some I've read & enjoyed books with siblings being taken care of but I can't think of any off hand. Can recall a couple where the herione was taking care of nieces/nephews -- J Garwood's Saving Grace and H Howell's If He's Sinful.

EilisFlynn said...

Hi, Virginia! I love your work -- I can't believe I don't have more of the 47 (now I'll have to check to see for my Sony eReader)! I can't think of any bachelor father situations that stood out (it's not 6am yet here), but I can't think of any bachelor-mother sits either. Wait, I can think of the bachelor father thing -- Leigh Greenwood's earlier series had boys. I remember enjoying that a lot.

I have to get ready for work. But I can't wait to read your latest!

Minna said...

Hi Pat! Congratulations on your new release!

I have read plenty of stories about single fathers, older siblings and gamblers, but I can't remember a single one.

MsHellion said...

Single dad: The hero of Desperate Duchesses (Eloisa James)--his name is escaping me, Griffin(?)--but his kid, Teddy, is hilarious and the heroine's reaction to him is hilarious. She's not a Disney Mother Nurture character, so it was a good contrast.

Older sibling, younger sibs: The Essex series, also Eloisa James. (I do read other authors, just so we're rest assured here.) Anne Gracie also has a series--the PERFECT series. The Perfect Rake (my favorite), The Perfect Waltz, et al.

Favorite gambler: Maverick, of course.

catslady said...

Congratulations and what an accomplishment 47 books - wow. Add me to the list of those that can't remember titles very well. Honestly, Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind came to mind for a gambler lol.

Scorpio M. said...

Sarah Mayberry's, Home For The Holidays features a wonderful single dad. It's a contemporary catagory title, though.

Wasn't Villiers from Eloisa James' A Duke Of Her Own a single father of 6 children (different moms)?

As for gamblers, I thought of Derek Craven, too. He's just too popular!

Patricia Rice said...

Now I'm wondering if kids and gamblers make a book invisible or totally forgettable. "G"

47 releases is nothing. Those are just the books that sell. I play with new ideas every day, waiting for the market to catch up with my insane imagination!

and will someone please explain why blogger always rejects my password the first time but accepts it the second?

Susan Sey said...

Good morning, Patricia! Your new release sounds wonderful--I'll have to pick it up ASAP!

As for older sibling caring for the younger, I love Mary Balogh's Slightly series featuring the Bedwyns. I waited through that whole series, falling deeper & deeper in love with Wulfric. He was so remote & so detached, but so devoted to taking care of all those siblings.

It was a totally satisfying story, too.

Best of luck with your release!

Beth said...

Welcome back to the lair, Pat! Loved your excerpt - you hooked me but good *g* I can't wait to pick up a copy of The Wicked Wyckerly

The first gambler story that comes to my mind is Nora Roberts' The Winning Hand. Although it's the heroine who does the gambling...
but the hero owns the casino *g* Not sure if it's a good fit but I do like that story.

As for a story with a single father, I'll go with Jennifer Crusie's Welcome to Temptation ;-)

jo robertson said...

Hi, Patricia, welcome back to the Lair. Your Rebellious Sons series sounds magnificent!

I usually avoid stories with children in them (we have too much of that kind of drama in real life LOL), but I must admit that Fitz's interactions with the kids sounds funny and clever.

Nancy said...

Virginia, congrats on the rooster! I frequently have to think about comment questions, too. Chime back in whenever you're ready. :-)

Nancy said...

Limecello, what a great list! Thanks for sharing. I think the only one of those I've read was It Had To Be You, but it was wonderful.

Nancy said...

Donna, I loved Maverick. I'll have to check out the riverboat gambler.

Nancy said...

Christine, glad you liked the interview. Frederica is one of my all-time favorite books, too. I just recently re-read it. I had forgotten about Sylvester. It may be one of the few Heyer Regencies I don't own. I'll have to fix that.

Nancy said...

Helen, this book is, as you surmise, wonderful. Fitz has become one of my favorite heroes.

Pop back in whenever. As I said to Virginia, I have to think about these things, too.

Nancy said...

Gamistress, Saving Grace turns up on a lot of lists in here in the Lair. Taking care of nieces and nephews counts, I think.

Nancy said...

Eilis, it's not six a.m. and you're commenting? Ouch!

And you're right, Leigh Greenwood's Seven Brides series featured an older brother looking after the younger ones. I love those books!

Nancy said...

Hi, Minna--Thanks for stopping by. I'm sure you'll remember those books later, so feel free to jump in.

Nancy said...

Patricia wrote: and will someone please explain why blogger always rejects my password the first time but accepts it the second?

If only I could. It does it to me. Every freaking time I sign in to comment. Not, however, when I sign into the dashboard, which is an interesting difference.

Nancy said...

MsHellion, great list! I love Maverick, too, and I think I know the Eloisa James book you mean, but I can't think of the title, either.

Nancy said...

Hi, Catslady--Rhett Butler--of course! The quintessential gambler, and so well played by yummy Clark Gable.

Nancy said...

Scorpio, I'm a sucker for holiday stories. That one sounds great. Your comment about Villiers is ringing a bell, but I don't remember that book in enough detail.

Nancy said...

Hi, Patricia--I love Fitz. We've acquired a nice list of gamblers and kid books, so I don't think they're invisible.

One of my favorite recently discovered gambler heroes is Gage Turner in The Pagan Stone, Book 3 of Nora Roberts' Sign of Seven trilogy. Like Fitz, Gage makes his living gambling, but he's a lot more cynical than Fitz is. I don't think he's an addition whiz, either.

You always do great kids. Mac and the kids really made All A Woman Wants special to me.

Nancy said...

Susan, I don't remember the Slightly series. I'll have to check that out. Wulfric--what a great name!

Nancy said...

Beth, I haven't read The Winning Hand, but it sounds like fun.

Sabrina Jeffries had a gambler hero in one of her Royal Bastards books, but I can't remember which one. He was really cool.

Nancy said...

Hi, Jo--Fitz's trials and tribulations with his daughter are, as you guessed, fabulous.

Patricia Rice said...

The Slightly series was wonderful, and I'm always a sucker for the dark and stoic heroes.

You ought to post a list of these great books somewhere!

And maybe I ought to figure out how to get here from my dashboard to see if that makes a difference, but I'd probably just crash blogger. Don't know why it just doesn't remember me!

Anna Sugden said...

Welcome to the Lair, Pat! Thanks for hosting her, Nancy! Your new book sounds great - adding it to my list!

Susan Mallery and Christine Rimmer write fantastic sibling books.

I love Lorraine Heath's Between the Devil and Desire - where Dodger runs a gaming establishment.

I think Nora has books in all the categories!

Kim in Hawaii said...

Aloha, Pat! Great to see you in the Lair. The Florida heat has fried my brain, so I can't think of any books that haven't already been mentioned.

(Note to anyone coming to RWA - bring sunscreen and drink water ... it is hot and humid!)

Looking forward to reading your new book!

Nancy said...

Patricia, Blogger has been somewhat hostile the past couple of days. I haven't tried logging in via the dashboard and then going to comments, though. Might work.

I just got an error message, had to close the tab, clear history, and am now trying again, and we had lots and lots of trouble yesterday at the start of Susan's party.

Judging by the "test" comment at the Romance Dish, I suspect they also had trouble.

So we'll hope it's better today.

You know, people always suggest fabulous books, and we don't have anywhere to archive them. That's a thought.

Karyn Gerrard said...

I would say Lisa Kleypas' Lord St. Vincent. Or Cam Rohan, but they ran the gambling house besides gambling a little themselves!

The book sounds lovely, all the best for your release!

Nancy said...

Hi, Anna--Is Lorraine Heath's Dodger anything like The Artful Dodger from Oliver? He's a great character.

Nancy said...

Kim, I dread the "hot and humid" part of RWA. Within ten minutes, I always look like something no decent cat would condescend to drag in. I'm hoping a sun visor and sunglasses will prevent anyone I know from recognizing me. *sigh*

Nancy said...

Karyn, Lisa Kleypas is turning up a lot today. I think running the gambling house counts. :-)

Christine Wells said...

Hey Nancy, if you're in the market for Sylvester, I recommend buying the audio tape as well as the novel. It's read by Richard Armitage (le sigh). Unforutnately, it's abridged and they leave out some of the best parts but I could listen to RA murmuring in my ear all day!

Kim in Hawaii said...

For Nancy and those attending RWA, the hotel has ICE COLD A/C. So just don't leave the hotel!

I stopped by the hotel in early June when my children and I stayed at the military resort near the Polynesian Hotel. Even my kids thought it was too hot to trek around Disney (perhaps we are too spoiled with Hawaiian weather).

Minna said...

Still can't remember any of the books (this heat must have boiled my brains). I can only remember this movie about a gambler. The movie is Maverick, but Maverick isn't really a hero.

Pave Maijanen - Lähtisitkö

Nik Kershaw - I Won´t Let The Sun Go Down On Me

Patricia Rice said...

Kim, I can't imagine why you would ever leave Hawaii! Orlando in July--ugh. Hope the East Coast heat wave isn't wafting down there.

I love Maverick in all his incarnations. I think Jim Garner playing TV's Maverick was the first love of my life. "G"

ooo, and it looks like Blogger remembers me on the Mac!

Nancy said...

Christine, thanks for the audiobook advice. Can't ever hurt to listen to RA. Unfortunately, I think a lot of audiobooks are abridged.

Nancy said...

Minna, Maverick was a TV series before it was a movie. James Garner became a star by playing Maverick.

Nancy said...

Kim, I'll pack jackets for the hotel. Thanks for the tip. I have commitments for particular rides with particular banditas, and I have a dinner meeting at Epcot one night, so I must, it seems leave the hotel. But I'll drink plenty of water.

Deb said...

Hi, Nancy and Patricia. Congrats on the release of TWW, Pat! I have it waiting behind the counter at an indie bookstore.

My fave story about a single father is my DH. He was a single father when I met him, working hard to make ends meet, raising 2 young sons on his own, he had moved to a new state, and was divorced. Now, there was a woman who just happened to be his son's 3rd grade teacher (yep, me). I thought he was really goodlooking and I caught his eye. I was very reluctant to get to know him, though, because of his divorced, single- father status. But he wooed me and after 2 years of waffling, I gave in and we were married and have been for almost 12 years.

Nancy said...

Deb, what a lovely story! Thanks so much for sharing.

Patricia Rice said...

Deb, that is a lovely story, thank you for it!

I'm toddling off to see what my magical DVR has taped for me to watch this evening.

Thank you for letting me stop by and visit. I've had a lovely time! Nancy, are you choosing our winner?

Nancy said...

Patricia, we'll confer about the winner. For anyone else stopping by, it's not too late to comment and enter.

Louisa Cornell said...

Good for you, Virginia! Make him behave. Hard to do after a launch party!

Hello, Pat !! Love your books!

I have to agree with our debut author, La Smoov. I LOVE the Slightly series by Mary Balogh. Wulfric is just the perfect big brother!

Derek Craven is one of my favorite gamblers ever! And yes, Villiers dealing with all of his progeny in Eloisa James's series is priceless.

Nancy said...

Hi, Louisa--I do like that name, Wulfric. Very Viking-ish. :-)

flchen1 said...

Stopping in late to wave hi, Nancy! Hi, Patricia! Congrats on 47 books! What an accomplishment!

As for single-father stories, I'm blanking on some specific titles, but a number of the category romances (Supers and others) definitely include those. I think one I read recently was an old Caroline Cross Desire, Paternity Factor. The hero's a single dad trying to come to terms with the stunning news that his daughter doesn't share his DNA.

As for sibs raising each other, the category romances have scads of those, too. I'm currently reading Mary Connealy's Clueless Cowboy, where the heroine's parenting her eight-year-old sister.

And like Beth, I thought of Nora Roberts for gamblers, too--Playing the Odds (love those MacGregors!) and True Betrayals.

Hope you had a great day with the GR, Virginia!